Louisville Football: Is Rogers The X-Factor For The AFC Championship?

We take a look at why former Louisville football player Eli Rogers could be the difference-maker when the Steelers meet the Patriots Sunday.

Former Louisville football player Eli Rogers has an opportunity that most people will never get to experience on Sunday against the Patriots. He will be playing in his first AFC Championship game and with a win, could be playing in his first Super Bowl just a few weeks later.

It’s going to be an extremely difficult task for Pittsburgh to come away with a win this coming weekend. New England finished the regular season 14-2 and also is coming off a win over the Houston Texans. Not to mention, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady isn’t too bad either.

However, could Eli Rogers be the biggest difference-maker in the AFC Championship game on Sunday? Let’s examine why he could:

These two teams met back in late October, with New England getting the win 27-16. While getting a win on the road in always impressive, the Steelers were without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for all four quarters-that makes a huge difference in a tight football game.

Even though Pittsburgh was without Roethlisberger, All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown still managed to rack up 7 receptions for 106 yards through the air and running back Le’Veon Bell had 10 catches for 68 yards as well.

Those are fairly impressive numbers for two guys that competed against the best team in football, especially since they didn’t have their 2-time, Super Bowl-winning  QB.

With that being said, Eli Rogers has an opportunity to open up this football game for Pittsburgh on Sunday.

The Patriots are very solid on the defensive side of the football, but there aren’t many teams that can shut down Bell, Brown, and Rogers.

With 66 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns this year, Rogers has forced opposing defenses to pay attention to his ability to catch the football in the slot. If I was New England, my game-plan would be to try and shut down Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, forcing other Steelers’ offensive players to beat me.

Not to mention, when these two teams met up this season, Rogers wasn’t on the field.

New England head coach Bill Belichick is one of the best coaches that the National Football League has ever seen. He will be doing all he can to try and slow this Steelers’ offense down on Sunday, which I believe they can.

However, Eli Rogers has an opportunity to help the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Super Bowl by making big plays over the middle on Sunday. This will make New England take their focus off of Bell or Brown, which could ultimately be the end of the season for the NFL’s best team.

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