The Steelers tend to struggle a bit when their rushing-attack gets shut down, and that could possibly be the case here. Against the New York Jets, the Steelers were able to jump out a big lead behind Rashard Mendenhall’s huge first half, but he was contained in the second half. This resulted to the Steelers laying a goose egg, putting up a whopping zero second half points. Luckily, they were able to hold on. Raji’s ability to dictate the trenches will be huge in this matchup. “The Freezer” can beat double-teams and create havoc in the backfield. Hell, he even showed the nation that he can cover (thanks to Caleb Hanie). With reports of Steelers’ Pro Bowl Center Maurkice Pouncey being doubtful, Raji must be licking his chops right now.
Pass protection is going to be key for the Pack Attack, therefore Clifton must bring his A game. This veteran is going to have his hands full all night, especially when you’re up against a beast like James Harrison. Not only Harrison, but Clifton will have to keep his eye on Brett Keisel as well. The Steelers pass-rush could be relentless at times and Clifton needs to be at his best. I’m sure he will get help trying to block those two, but his play can impact the game in a big way. Green Bay must be able to keep Rodgers upright. If Rodgers gets time in the pocket, he will pick apart the Steelers’ secondary.
I don’t think many people thought Starks was going to be as productive as he has been thus far in the post-season, and he has been a vital part to Green Bay’s success. He doesn’t put up mind-boggling numbers, but his abilities to convert short yardage situations have been huge. Many teams have been too focused on the Packers’ prolific passing-attack, which has given Starks opportunities to make plays. The one attribute that I like the most is his zero fumbles. This guy doesn’t put the pigskin on the ground. It will be a tough task for Green Bay to get success running against the number 1 rush defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers, but if Starks can continue picking up first downs, it can keep the Steelers’ linebackers off-balanced. Starks will need to be efficient in order to keep some pressure off of Aaron Rodgers.
When Shields gets an interception, Murph, you can be the first to say “I told you so”.