Who: New York Jets @ Pittsburgh
When: 4:25 p.m. EDT
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Media: TV – CBS, DirecTV – 715, Radio – ESPN 98.7 FM, Sirius – 92, Sirius XM – XM 86, Internet Audio – NFL Fieldpass.
Their Previous Meeting: The last time these two teams met,it was an exciting but ultimately frustrating night for Jets fans all over the world and would end the Jets Super Bowl aspirations just when they were knocking on the door. Yes, I’m referring to the AFC Championship Game in 2010. It started off ugly with the Steelers propelling themselves to a 24-3 lead by halftime. The Jets offense was nonexistent and the defense couldn’t keep Pittsburgh out of the end zone. A fumble recovery by William Gay that went for a touchdown didn’t help matters. However, despite a younger, less experienced Sanchez, he gave the locker room an empowering speech at halftime and the results showed as the Jets came out with a purpose in the second half. Looking to erase their deficit, Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes on a 45 yard bomb with a little under three minutes off the clock. Still down 10-24, the Jets fell into a lull and wouldn’t score again until the fourth quarter when Mike DeVito sacked Big Ben in the end zone for a safety, the Jets capitalized on the ensuing drive with Sanchez throwing a touchdown to current Steeler Jerricho Cotchery. Only needing a touchdown to win the game, the Jets had came tantalizingly close to finally getting over the hump and attaining their first Super Bowl berth in decades. But alas, fate is a cruel, cruel mistress. The defense which had managed to shut down Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense for the entire second half gave up two key 14 yard passes, to Heath Miller and Antonio Brown respectively, for first downs and with time running out and no timeouts to speak of, the Jets were sent packing, again narrowly missing a Super Bowl berth.
Jets: LB Nick Bellore (Shoulder–Probable), FB John Conner (Knee–Questionable), CB Antonio Cromartie (Shoulder–Probable), DT Mike DeVito (Calf–Probable), WR Stephen Hill (Calf–Probable), TE Dustin Keller (Hamstring–Out), WR Jeremy Kerley (Low back–Probable), T Dennis Landolt (Knee–Out), S LaRon Landry (Heel–Probable), LB Josh Mauga (Rib–Probable), G Brandon Moore (Hip–Probable), NT Sione Po’uha (Low back–Probable), CB Darrelle Revis (Concussion–Out), WR Chaz Schilens (Ankle–Probable), S Eric Smith (Hip/Knee–Probable), OLB Bryan Thomas (Hamstring–Out), and CB Isaiah Trufant (Ankle–Questionable).
Steelers: RB Jonathan Dwyer (Foot–Probable), OLB James Harrison (Knee–Questionable), DE Ziggy Hood (Back–Probable), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Knee–Doubtful), S Troy Polamalu (Calf–Questionable), OL Max Starks (Illness–Probable), and ILB Stevenson Sylvester (Knee–Out).
Jets: QB Greg McElroy, TE Dustin Keller, LT Dennis Landolt, C Caleb Schlauderaff, NT Damon Harrison, OLB Bryan Thomas, and CB Darrelle Revis.
Steelers: QB Charlie Batch, RB Rashard Mendenhall, G Kelvin Beachum, NT Alameda Ta’amu, OLB James Harrison, ILB Stevenson Sylvester, and S Troy Polamalu.
Game Captains: T.B.A.
Post Scriptum: The password to the chatroom is case-sensitive and must be entered as shown: inafog
I knew the Jets wanted to make a statement and silence their critics but 48 points? Wow. Who saw that coming? Not many but as we all know this Jets team has been known to respond in the most extraordinary circumstances and their drubbing of the Buffalo Bills just reflects that attitude…and then some. Of course the over-analysis afterwards did tend to get a bit annoying especially since everyone who picked the Bills to win tried to rationalize that the Bills defense perhaps wasn’t as good as originally thought, particularly placing the blame on the Bills’ cornerbacks. It’s to be expected.
Never mind that though, the Jets set their sights on the Steelers shortly after the final whistle blew and despite being without Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller, and Bryan Thomas, the Jets have all the ability in the world to come out with a win. Lets just hope the talent comes together and fate doesn’t screw the Jets over yet again. The Steelers have quickly become one of the teams that have been quietly written on the Jets’ S*** List. Granted, Mike Tomlin and Rex Ryan have a mutual respect for each other and their respective teams but to Jets fans, the Steelers stole a golden opportunity from the Jets (and then had the audacity to not even win the Super Bowl, if you’re going to beat us, at least win the Super Bowl!). Ironically, the Steelers also defeated the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game in 2008, after which Ryan accepted the head coaching position here in New York–and lets not forget the infamous Doug Brien fiasco in 2004. Point is the Steelers have been the source of many of the Jets’ heartaches in recent years and today they’ll be looking to add on to that on their own turf and with the Jets down their star corner, Revis Island.
The Steelers are expected to be without Harrison and Polamalu or perhaps one or they may have both. Regardless of who steps on the field, the Jets showed us that, contrary to their lone touchdown in the preseason, they are a capable team and can put up points however consistency is key and a lot of that will rest with Mark Sanchez who, aside from a questionable throw (and questionable pickoff as well) looked very decisive and looked off receivers well and overall played the way the Jets drafted him to play, like a franchise quarterback. The Jets will need to get their run game going a bit because that sorely lacked in the opener and a word of advice to the coaching staff: we don’t need to see Tebow ten times in a game, leave the Wildcat alone for a while.
While the Jets do lose both Revis and veteran Bryan Thomas on defense, leaving Kyle Wilson and Garrett McIntyre to start in their places, the Jets are getting back Sione Po’uha whose presence was sorely missed on the defensive line last week as evidenced by C.J. Spiller’s 169 rushing yards. With Po’uha back this does present the Jets with more opportunities to get after Big Ben who they can’t give too much time if they want to protect their cornerbacks. It will be a challenge, one that I personally feel could go either way, but this is nothing the Jets haven’t faced before, they just need to be consistent and they’ll cruise right into Miami with a sweet victory.