Gang Green Looks To Tear Down Steel Curtain
This article was written by Double G Sports Jets writer, Mike Mitolo.
Author: Mike Mitolo
Waking up to highlights of the Jets clearly outplaying the New England Patriots made a usual, dreary Monday back to work, a truly glorious morning. Being able to finally stick it to arrogant Pat’s fans made this, next to the Superbowl win in ’69, probably the sweetest victory in Jet history.
Now the smack talk has started with Steelers fans on how New York doesn’t stand a chance against Pittsburgh.
One question. Did these same Steelers fans watch last week’s game against the Ravens? The one where the Ravens scored two touchdowns in less than 30 seconds in the first half.
If not for a Raven’s game changing fumble, and a sure catch, dropped on a critical 4th & 19 by T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Pittsburgh might have wound up on the outside looking in.
These are the same Steelers fans that are making a big deal about the fact that Troy Polamalu didn’t play in the Jets regular season victory, and are looking past the fact that he hasn’t been himself this year. With a chronic ankle problem stemming from an Achilles injury earlier in the year, check the highlights of Ray Rice running right over him for a touchdown.
Combine that with uncharacteristic missed tackles and guessing wrong on coverages most of the year, this is a weakness that can be exposed.
New York should throw out conventional wisdom here and attack Polamalu early. If they make him work hard enough his physical limitations will be exposed.
They should do the same with the running game.
In the regular season meeting, the Jets ran for 106 yards against a 3rd ranked run defense that held opponents to a max.75 yards rushing per game the entire year. The Jets need to play to their strengths, even though the Steelers know what’s coming, just line them up and will the ball down their throats.
The defensive strategy to stop Mike Wallace, Heath Miller and crew must be an adaptation of what they did to New England. Stick Revis man to man on the hot receiver, have everyone else play zone, and pound anything that moves coming off the line.
New York’s special teams, after a lackluster performance in Foxboro, needs to refocus and snap back to form.
Steve Weatherford who played his best game in the week 15 win, keeping Pittsburgh back and creating opportunities like the Jason Taylor safety, needs to have a repeat performance.
Mike Westhoff needs to stay with the hot hand and feet of Antonio Cromartie. It’s great to see Brad Smith back this week, but do not fix what isn’t broken.
The biggest challenge for the Jets will be containing the tough Ben Roethlisberger, and prevent him from extending plays. With questionable to sub par play at the tackle positions for the Steelers, this may be an avenue to slow down the two – time champ.
In saying all this, we can compare stats, analyze plays and break down film all day long. This time around Jets fans just play the law of averages and believe in Karma.
Just like the Pats were 8-0 in two consecutive seasons at home and that streak was broken. With the Jets being 0-3 on the road in AFC Championship games, after 42 years, its time to end that run too.
J! E! T! S! …. JETS! JETS! JETS!
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