Three-Point Stance: Steelers at 49ers Preview

Matt Koll
September 19, 2019 - 2:40 pm

It’s Week 3 in the NFL season and it’s already close to desperation time for the Pittsburgh Steelers after an 0-2 start.

Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack are here for 93.7 The Fan’s “Three Point Stance” to get you prepared for Steelers-49ers at 4:25 on Sunday evening.

Colin first looks at the newest Steeler, one that cost the team a first round pick, and that’s safety/slot cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. We know he’s going to be starting in the defensive backfield on Sunday but will he be able to fuse into the defense and seamlessly communicate?

Colin also looks at the relationship between now starting quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington. Can they kick it back to their Oklahoma State days and make plays? Will Washington receive more targets now that Rudolph is slinging it? Finally, Colin wonders what in the world is up with the offensive line and their run blocking.

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Chris starts by looking at the future of Ben Roethlisberger. He insists he'll be back for the 2020 season, but Mike Tomlin sounded less certain on Tuesday afternoon. Confidence levels in his replacement, Mason Rudolph, will certainly rise and fall week-to-week based on his performance, but what of our confidence levels that Ben will ever perform at his pre-surgery levels ever again? 

Also, James Conner has gotten off to a very slow start to the year. What kind of runner is he? Are the Steelers going to try to establish the run game with Ben out? Lastly, Chris reviews some of the numbers from when the Steelers have gone out on the west coast under Tomlin and it’s enough to make you concerned. How do they avoid laying another egg on Sunday?