Mike Wallace: Key Factor For Pittsburgh Steelers Against Baltimore Ravens

Mike Wallace, as I’ve said countless times before is soon to find himself among the league’s best wide receivers. He’s not far off, especially with his ridiculous yards per reception average of 21. The thing that makes it so special, is that he’s putting up that high average with 60 catches on the year, and he never caught a pass long than 56 yards.

Whereas, with most high average’s per reception, you’re going to see one, if not a few long bombs of 70+ yards. But, with Mike Wallace, there is legitimate receptions of 20-40 yards on a regular basis. So, many of those, in fact, that he, along with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to break a Steelers record set by two Hall Of Famers, by connecting eight times for scores of at least 40 yards.

The Baltimore Ravens know full well of Wallace’s speed, and of Roethlisberger’s fondness for finding him in space, because he’s not all speed, he’s got great footwork and perhaps even better acceleration. He has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field, and the Ravens are going to want to limit his touches in those situations when at all possible to keep him from scoring his first ever touchdown against them.

He currently averages 61 yards a game against them, and knew full well that they would be meeting the Ravens again in the post-season.

His speed certainly poses a problem to most teams in the league, because he’s faster than the vast majority of NFL corners and quite possibly a step faster than all of them. But, it poses a tad bigger problem to the Ravens, who’s corners aren’t exactly superstars. That’s not saying they’re complete duds, but certainly not tops in the league.

This is why Wallace will be seeing definite help over the top, with more than likely Ed Reed following his every move in an attempt to take away one of the Steelers’ deadliest offensive weapons. And don’t expect to see the Baltimore corners at the line, covering Wallace tight, if they want to contain him, they’ve got to respect the speed and play a few yards off of him.

Can Wallace overcome this double team of (somewhat) epic proportions? Well, yeah. He has the speed and hands to do it. It all depends on whether or not the ball has a chance to get over Reed’s coverage, or rather, underneath Reed and over the corner, because Ed Reed is not going to allow Wallace (or at least is going to try very hard not) to allow him to get behind him, because if/when he does – it’s game over.

As I said in a previous post, this will be Wallace’s first post-season game in his NFL career. At least it’s against a team that he’s familiar with (as familiar as one can get with the Ravens defense that is).

Look for Roethlisberger to go to Mike Wallace early and often to test the Raven’s secondary on Saturday. And look for Wallace to respond in kind, I predict that he will at least meet his average against the Ravens, and hopefully finally get his first touchdown against them.

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~ by Steel Hurtin on January 13, 2011.

3 Responses to “Mike Wallace: Key Factor For Pittsburgh Steelers Against Baltimore Ravens”

  1. I completely agree with you, Mike Wallace with be a key factor, especially if Ed Reed plays. Reed loves to take chances, which gets himself out of place from time to time. With Wallace’s speed there will be no time to make up for his mistakes. If Reed does not play, I believe Wallace will see those double teams you spoke of, which will leave openings for Health Miller, Randel El, and Hines Ward. In a game with two great defenses a long strike could be the difference.

    • Definitely agree. The Ravens are going to have to pick their poison against the Steelers offense, if they choose to take away Miller, the underneath routes are going to be open, because Wallace is going to pull at the very least two defenders back with him, and Heath Miller will LOVE that. Just hope he’s not still stinging from that hit he took in the last game.

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