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Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Identifies The Key To Victory In Week 2: Be Efficient In All Three Phases

Credit: Jason Miller/Getty Images

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Identifies The Key To Victory In Week 2: Be Efficient In All Three Phases

The Pittsburgh Steelers host the New England Patriots for an intriguing Week 2 matchup on Sunday. The Steelers come into the week after a narrow victory in Week 1 over their AFC North rival, Cincinnati Bengals. On the flip side, head coach Bill Belichick and his team will look to earn their first win of the season after losing to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.

Steelers, Tomlin, Belichick

Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick (left) shakes hands with Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin (right). | Credit: Associated Press

A lot has changed since these two historic franchises last faced each other. Their last meeting was in 2019 at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots began their season by celebrating their sixth Super Bowl banner. The game wasn’t quite close, as the Patriots won the game 33-3. Tom Brady was still the team’s quarterback at the time, not to mention their roster transformation since then.

It’s not the same team that the Steelers are used to playing, but head coach Mike Tomlin certainly isn’t looking beyond them. Belichick and his coaching staff has a lot to do with that, as they do things similarly to the black and gold. In an interview with Steelers reporter, Bob Pompeani, Tomlin provided the key to victory for Sunday’s tilt:

“We’ve gotta be efficient in all three phases. This is an outfit that plays varsity ball consistently in all. We better be solid in all areas,” Tomlin said to Pompeani. “They’re gonna play the field position game. I’d be remise if I didn’t mention a guy like Matthew Slater, who has had an unbelievable career as a core coverage guy.”

Steelers Mitch Trubisky Huddle

Steelers’ Mitch Tubisky (#10) leads the huddle in Cincinnati in Week 1. (Credit: Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)

There’s one of your Tomlinisms. Last week, the Steelers offense certainly wasn’t efficient. In 70 minutes of football, they racked up just 267 total yards in 61 plays. While they didn’t turn the ball over, those kind of efficiency numbers won’t work in the near future. On the other side of things, the black and gold’s defense was as efficient as you can get.

They forced five turnovers, as well as picking up seven sacks. While TJ Watt is out against the Patriots, the defense needs to be dominant if they want to improve to 2-0. Tomlin didn’t stop there with his keys to the game this Sunday, though. He provided a key on each side of the ball:

“We’ve got to minimize the big plays. We can’t do things to stall drives [on offense].”

Once again, the defense did this (for the most part) in Week 1. In a game where points will likely be hard to come by, minimizing big plays will be especially key. The offense will need to run on schedule, and that includes subsiding mental mistakes. That means limiting the penalties and other things that are entirely preventable.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and wide receiver Chase Claypool

Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (JSKO_PHOTO Twitter)

What do you guys think the key to victory is this weekend? What are your predictions for the game, will they improve to 2-0? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below! If you are attending the game, be sure to check out the Terrible Tailgate in Red Lot 5A outside of Acrisure Stadium!

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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!

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