With defensive tackle Norman Hand expected to be out again, the Steelers shouldn't have trouble running the football. They should be in position to throw the ball less than 20 times this game.
Defensively, load the box against running back Tiki Barber who has been struggling of late. Quarterback Eli Manning hasn't proven to anyone yet that he's ready to play. Also, bring lots of blitzes since he hasn't shown yet that he can handle them.
What the Giants have to do to win:
Offensively, they are going to have to find a way to move the football down field. It will be very difficult to run on the Steelers so they may have to split Barber out wide and get him involved in the passing game and get him matched up on a linebacker.
Defensively, they must find a way to shut down or control the Steelers' running game. That's where everything starts and essentially ends with their offense.
Washington at San Francisco
What the Redskins have to do to win:
Offensively, go after their secondary early. The Cardinals went after rookie cornerback Shawntae Spencer last week and had pretty good success so the Redskins should go with the same game plan. By making the 49ers take an extra defender out up front, that should open up the running game.
Defensively, shut down running back Maurice Hicks who looked good last week. He's much faster to the hole than Kevan Barlow. If successful, that will force quarterback Ken Dorsey to throw and we don't see him as being capable of getting it done against the solid Redskins' defense.
What the 49ers have to do to win:
Offensively, it won't be easy but they will have to take some pressure off of Dorsey by running the ball well. They'll also have to do a good job in blitz pickups since the Redskins blitz more than just about any team.
Defensively, they will have to control running back Clinton Portis. Also, double-team receiver Laveranues Coles and make Rod Gardner, who has been dormant for weeks, the primary target. They'll also have to keep a watchful eye on rookie H-Back Chris Cooley who has become a big factor in recent weeks. They should use veteran safety Tony Parrish on Cooley.
Carolina at Atlanta
What the Panthers have to do to win:
Offensively, although they have become what some would call a passing team lately, it actually starts with the running game. When Nick Goings is going well (he has four straight 100-yard rushing games), it opens up their play-action game since teams have to respect the run. That will help get receiver Muhsin Muhammad in single coverage. They should go right after cornerback Jason Webster's replacement, Kevin Mathis who is small.
Defensively, they must stay in their cap responsibilities because the Falcons will try to run the ball as much as possible. They really have no passing game other than with tight end Alge Crumpler.
What the Falcons have to do to win:
Offensively, while the team will miss running back T.J. Duckett when they want to pound the football on the ground, they must get running back Warrick Dunn the ball in the run and pass game. Also, continue to get tight end Alge Crumpler the ball. He's their only playmaker in the passing game, especially in the red zone area now that Duckett is out.
Defensively, continue to shut down the run like they have been doing for most of the season. Force quarterback Jake Delhomme in to a more predictable situation where they will have to throw more than they want to. They'll have to double-team Muhammad as much as possible though because they have been getting him the ball at least 10 times in seven out of his last eight games.
What They have to Do to Win on Saturday
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