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Week 3: Bears vs. Steelers 5 Questions with Nice Pick, Cowher


This weeks edition of 5 Questions features Dom DiTolla from Nice Pick, Cowher who took the time out to answer a few questions about the matchup between the Bears and Steelers.

Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers fan Karen Hartl cheers on the team against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans won 16-9. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Do you feel a loss to the Bears would end all playoff hopes for the Steelers?

Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson (93) and defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati won the game 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

A loss ends the season of the disaster known as the “2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.” Then again, I would argue that this team was not talented enough to make the postseason this fall to begin with.

They illustrated to us with their play during the preseason and opening weekend that they were incapable of making the playoffs due to a lack of talent, injuries to key starters, questionable coaching decisions, and overall poor play.

Even in the largely competitive A.F.C., 0-3 will still be a “death-knell” for a team that had too many issues to solve at the beginning of the season.

Can the Steelers fix their offensive line woes in time for Sunday night?

Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Moise Fokou (rear) and defensive tackle Mike Martin (93) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans won 16-9. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No chance whatsoever.

To his credit, Fernando Velasco played well on Monday night when one considers that he was signed the previous Monday to replace an All-Pro in the form of Maurkice Pouncey. Still, Velasco didn’t make any of us forget “Dirt” Dawson.

As far as the other offensive linemen are concerned, I hope Ben Roethlisberger is ready to run for his life once again Sunday night while he tries to avoid the Bears’ pass-rush.

Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams are tubby turnstiles who lack the necessarily agility and quickness to protect the edges on a consistent basis. I honestly don’t know how Adams was not flagged at least five times for holding on Monday at Paul Brown Stadium either. Both players could prove to be hazardous to Roethlisberger’s health if they continue to play like they have been recently.

Geno Atkins completely had his way with David DeCastro as well, and the former first round pick must show some significant improvement over the coming weeks. To be fair to DeCastro, Monday night’s game was only his fifth career start. Ramon Foster can provide a steady presence at left guard, but the make-shift line will continue to struggle without Pouncey and if youngsters fail to improve.

What is the Steelers most favorable matchup against the Bears?

Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates a touchdown in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If “Big Ben” can receive the necessary protection, an enormous if by the way, then he could put pressure on Chicago’s defense with four and five wide receivers on the field and in a hurry-up offense. Of course, that is also contingent upon explosive rookie Markus Wheaton and Derek Moye seeing the field along with their other pass-catchers.

If Ben can get in a rhythm, distribute the ball to his best play-makers, and keep their cavalcade of backup tight ends and fullbacks on the sidelines, Pittsburgh will have a chance to do some positive things on offense in Sunday’s game. On Pittsburgh’s only two scoring drives of the season they have run the no-huddle, and it might behoove them to do the same thing against the Bears’ stout defense to generate some offense.

What is the Steelers most unfavorable matchup against the Bears?

Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is tackled by members of the Chicago Bears defense during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. The Bears won 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Trying to run the football against Chicago’s run defense will be their most difficult task. Pittsburgh has Felix Jones, Isaac Redman, and Jonathan Dwyer at their disposal this week, and the team has rushed for a total of 75 yards through their first two games. While I could go on about how much of a “dumpster fire” Pittsburgh’s “running game” is, I’ll save you the time and myself some curse words.

What is your prediction for the game, including a final score?

Bears 31 Steelers 13

Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, and Brandon Marshall should supply enough offense against a defense that has recorded only one sack and has failed to record a turnover during eight quarters of play. Chicago’s defense on the other hand will probably force three turnovers, and Pittsburgh’s offensive line will have a difficult time matching up against the Bears’ front-seven.

I want to thank Dom for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our weekly 5 Questions about the Chicago Bears opponent. Make sure you check out Nice Pick, Cowher for all your info about the Pittsburgh Steelers.