Only two 2-0 teams will meet during Week 3’s action and the lone undefeated match-up was anything but expected prior to the season beginning. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Pittsburgh Steelers at 1:00PM on September 26th and both teams will look to remain one of the NFL’s few unbeaten teams following the weekend’s action.
The Buccaneers enter the game considered the underdog due to their 3-13 record last season and their 2 victories over teams with subpar quarterbacks (Cleveland and Carolina), but the Pewter Power will have some good fortune in the likely start from third string quarterback Charlie Batch or former Buccaneer Byron Leftwhich taking the snaps for Pittsburgh. The lack of Roethlisberger in the lineup hasn’t hurt the Steelers in the win column although the team has struggled to produce much of a passing effort in the Super Bowl champ’s suspended absence from the squad. Look for the Steelers to continue to run the ball and aviod the big turnover with either quarterback starting this weekend.
But the real story of the unlikely undefeated teams upcoming game will be regarding the subject that both cities have established their football identities with… the defense of course. The Bucs Tampa 2 appears to be alive and well after two outstanding performances against run heavy offenses and the arrival of highly touted draft pick DT Gerald McCoy to the middle of the defense. Considering Pittsburgh will likely have to play their 3rd or 4th string QB, Mendenhall will likely have to carry the load for the club and that could make for a low scoring battle. The Bucs should be ready for the challenge of containing the Pittsburgh offense after holding the fierce running tandem of Williams and Stewart of Carolina to 119 yards rushing yesterday in their comfortable win.
But the question of not giving up points on offense always becomes problematic when discussing a healthy Steelers defense.
Yes, you heard that right. When you play against an intimadating 3-4 scheme like the Steelers it could potentially become easier to give up points on offense rather then defense. Just ask the Titans about this notion after Chris Johnson was stuffed to 30 rushing yards and Vince Young became fodder for the Steelers defense to feed off of swipping picks and fumbles left and right from the former Longhorn.
The Steelers defense will hold the edge in the competition and the Steelers will hold onto the victory as expected because of their ability to turn the ball over. But expect the battle of the unbeatens to be more interesting then it looks on paper. It should be a low scoring game of defensive football.
Just like the way the two cities would want it to be.