Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line must set the tone in Week Five

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Aug 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) lines up against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of their game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) lines up against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of their game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Week Five will feature a matchup with two strengths meeting on the field at the same time. When the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line meets up with the Jaguars offensive line we will see a strong battle in the trenches. Whoever wins this matchup likely wins the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line must set the tone in Week Five

Cameron Heyward is playing at the highest level of his career. Javon Hargrave has been breaking, out, and Stephon Tuitt has looked stellar in minimal play. The Steelers defensive line has 5.5 of the team’s 15 sacks. The team ranks second in the NFL in sacks, only behind the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team also ranks sixth in adjusted yard lines which ranks runs a carry by carry basis.

However, on the other side, they are seeing a line is outperforming expectations. Rookie Cam Robinson has come in and along with a surprise impact from Patrick Omameh, the line has come together quicker than expected.

They are a run-first team all of the way. The Jaguars lead the league in carries and have the highest percentage of first down runs. Leonard Fournette is a powerful running back, but the increased offensive line play is really making the difference. The Jaguars rank fifth in adjusted yard lines, and fourth in stuffed rank. That means they continue to get positive gains on every single carry. However, they rank 19th in open field yards and 18th in 2nd level yards. They are not consistently getting their backs to the second level clean.

If this strong Steelers front can clog up the gaps early in this game, and they have Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams to finish off runs in the box, they can change the game. The Jaguars are not a team that can play from behind. A couple of stops to get the offense a lead will be all they need to start dominating this game. If they beat a formidable Jaguars front in the trenches they are going to win this game and win it with ease.

 

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