WR Antonio Brown vs. WR Julio Jones
Brown and Jones have established themselves as two of the best receivers in the league. Brown (105 receptions for 1,375 yards) and Jones (93 receptions for 1,428 yards) rank in the top two in the league in receiving yards and receptions. Last week in Cincinnati, Brown caught nine passes for 117 yards and became the first player in team history to register 100 receptions in consecutive seasons. Jones had a strong game as well in Green Bay as he registered 11 receptions for 259 yards and one touchdown. Despite battling a hip injury, Jones is expected to play and be a threat to the Steelers defense.
QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. QB Matt Ryan
With elite receivers on both sides of the ball it will be the responsibility of the signal callers to get them the ball. Roethlisberger and Ryan both rank in the top-10 in the NFL in many of the major passing categories. Roethlisberger is one of two quarterbacks this season to eclipse the 4,000 yard passing mark as he has thrown for 4,055 yards and 29 touchdowns. Ryan has very similar numbers as the seventh-year pro has registered 3,802 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. The Steelers (ranked second) and Falcons (ranked fifth) are two of the best passing teams in the league and the success of Roethlisberger and Ryan will determine the outcome of today's game.
CB Will Gay vs. CB Robert Alford
With all of the attention going to the offense it will be imperative for the defenses to step up. Gay has been the Steelers most reliable and consistent cornerback as the eight-year pro has 48 tackles (39 solo) and a team-high 14 passes defensed. He also has returned each of his two interceptions for touchdowns. Alford has 29 tackles (23 solo) and ranks second on the team in interceptions (three) and passes defensed (11). With two top-10 offenses squaring off today the defense that performs better may earn the victory.