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Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: January 20, 2011 4:30 pm
 
Posted by Josh Katzowitz



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As a bonus, enjoy our playoff podcast preview:



1. New York Jets (No. 6, AFC, 13-5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2, AFC, 13-4)

For the second-straight season, the Jets somehow have risen from a Wild Card team to a squad that will play in the AFC championship game with a chance to go to the Super Bowl. Last year, they fell to the Colts. This year, though, they’re riding a big hot streak, having knocked off Indianapolis and then the formerly-invincible Patriots, and they’re looking for their first Super Bowl appearance since 1969.

The Steelers, meanwhile, are coming off a nice come-from-behind victory against the Ravens last week. Like the Jets beating the Patriots, Pittsburgh exerted a ton of energy, rallying to beat their biggest rival for the second time this season. There’s been some talk about emotional letdowns, especially on the Jets side, but this one is for a Super Bowl berth. An emotional letdown, like Jets coach Rex Ryan would say, is impossible.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



Both AFC games last week were great matchups and featured great results. It’ll be hard for this one to top those. Maybe I’m the one who is emotionally let down, but 3.5 Mora Faces is the max rating.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Jets secondary vs. Steelers WRs

Last week, the Jets shut down the Patriots WRs. New England couldn’t create separation, and at times, QB Tom Brady was stuck holding the ball for 5 … 6 … 7 … 8 seconds before having to scramble because his receivers simply could not get open.

The Steelers will have to do a better job than that. Assuming Jets CB Darrelle Revis – who has dominated Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne and New England’s Deion Branch so far in the playoffs – matches up against WR Hines Ward, don’t expect Ward to have much of an impact. In the Steelers Week 15 matchup against New York, Ward was targeted only three times and caught two passes for 34 yards.

That means the speedy Mike Wallace will have to be the game-changer for Pittsburgh. He’s had a big season, catching 60 passes for 1,257 yards and 10 TDs in the regular season. We assume Jets CB Antonio Cromartie, also a rather speedy fellow, will attend to him. Thing is with Cromartie: sometimes he’s great, like last week, and sometimes he’s very beatable, like with Colts WR Pierre Garcon two weeks ago.

Hell, Cromartie might be the biggest factor of all. Especially if Ben Roethlisberger tries to avoid Revis and, instead, targets Cromartie. Hey, at least Cromartie didn’t call Roethlisberger an a------.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

If Revis makes Ward somewhat irrelevant in the passing game, the Steelers WR still can be a nuisance on the field. Ask Bart Scott about that this video, featuring Ward’s greatest hits.



5. The Jets will win if ...

They can get big-time production from both running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. Tomlinson, after a swoon in the second half of the season, has run well the first two rounds of the playoffs, and Greene has rushed for 77 and 70 yards in the two games. If Greene can inch closer to the 100-yard mark and Tomlinson can average about 5 yards a carry, that would keep the ball out of the hands of Rashard Mendenhall and Roethlisberger for much of the game and bring the Jets a win.

6. The Steelers will win if ...

They can pound and pressure Mark Sanchez for much of the day. Yes, Sanchez threw three touchdown passes last week, but he still has struggled – for the past two weeks – with his accuracy. The Steelers have plenty of defenders (ahem, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley) who can harass Sanchez and make him have to release the ball too early. Which certainly won’t help his aim.

7. Prediction: Jets 20, Steelers 17
Comments

Since: Nov 15, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2011 11:56 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

A couple corrections there, heyyou:
  1. Heath Miller fragile?  He has missed 4 games in 6 years.  2 of them this year because a douche DB on the Ravens blatantly hit him in the head causing a concussion.
  2. Aweful special teams: 2008 Steelers led league in kickoff coverage.  2009 they were aweful because Tomlin cut all the ST stand outs.  2010 they are 5th in KO coverage.
Maybe check the facts next time.


kemo217
Since: Jan 9, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2011 7:28 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:07 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

HEY MARTY, SAY GOOGBYE TO THE FOOTBALL SEASON ON SUNDAY NIGHT, BECAUSE THE STEELERS WIN EASILY. NO WAY SANCHEZ SIT BACK AND HAS A GOOD NIGHT. HE'LL BE BLITZED LEFT AND RIGHT AND UP AND DOWN WONDERING WHERE #43 IS THE ENTIRE GAME. AND YOU KNOW WHO I'M TALKING ABOUT! THIS IS NOT EVEN GONNA RESEMBLE THAT GAME OVER 3 WEEKS AGO PAL.  PITT PICKS OFF SANCHEZ AT LEAST 3 TIMES IN THIS LAUGHER.   YOU CAN'T THROW WHEN YOUR ON YOUR BACK.  DON'T THINK THAT THIS DEFENSE HAS A SHORT MEMORY.  IT'S PAYBACK TIME. ONLY THIS TIME WE HAVE HEATH MILLER AND POLAMALU BACK. THAT'S LIKE INSTANT PANIC FOR SANCHEZ. LIKE I SAID, PITT JUMPS OUT TO A 21-0 LEAD AND IT'S OVER IN THE FIRST HALF. REMEMBER, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.  FROM BIGBLACKSTEEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2011 12:57 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

right on Steelerssb! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!PITTSBURGH IS GONNA PUT A BEATING ON THE HAPLESS JETS AND I CAN'T WAIT TO LAUGH AT ALL THESE BIG MOUTH JET FANS TO SHUT TF UP! ALL I BEEN HEARING IS HOW THEY'RE GONNA GET TO BEN. DREAM TF ON! #7 MAKES IT SEVEN SUPER BOWL WINS FOR US, IT IS OUR DESTINY. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!!!!Surprised



Since: Sep 13, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:36 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Mendenhall hasn't rushed for over 100 against the jets either and miller is always getting hurt (fragile) nothing new there.
heyyou - Ok, Mendenhall only gained 99 yards after gthe statistcians deducted a yard. As for Heath Miller being fragile, most people would agree that this was a pretty tough hit:



There was no pemanly or flag thrown on that play by the way.

On paper, this should be a close game. Mark Sanchez has a chance to show that he is an elite quarterback. If he has a good game and leads the jets to victory, I would be hard pressed to say otherwise. I have a hard time seeing the Jets wiining without a superb performance by Sanchez. On the other hand, I can see the Steelers losing if they do not solve their kick coverage issues or if they do not play to their potential. The offensive line is also a patchwork affair. Ben is mobile; but he is one Bart Scott hit away from having to bring Leftwoch in to win the game.

Despite those weaknesses; the Steelers have a lot going for them. On defense; they should be able to bring more pressure on Sanchez with Troy in the line up. On offense, Mendenhall has a lot of incentive to run hard and we have a bevy of receivers for Ben to target. I don't prognosticate scores since there are simply too many intangibles - turnovers, sickness (we lost a starting tackle against Balt due to innness during game), injuries etc. Discounting the varibles I like having Ben at quarterback - steelers win.



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:02 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

heyyou, I was responding to a quote from depalm about how the Steelers lost to two teams in the top 10 in rushing. My point was that the Jets rushing for 106 was not the reason they lost. It was a full team effort. I'm not crying about losing or saying the Jets didn't win so quit being a$$inine yourself. Get a clue and look what I was responding to so you don't take it out of context. Where did I say those 9 points didn't count? I was merely saying the running game had nothing to do with those 9 points. In short he was trying to downplay the Steelers run defense and I was showing him he is wrong. Tell me heyyou do you believe the Steelers run d got their #s off of poor running teams alone? Any reasonable fan knows the Steelers have had one of the best run d's for years. I was just saying to a Ravens fan how decent the Jets fans seem, and then here you came.



Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 9:17 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Facesmasher,

The last time i checked special teams and defensive scores count just as much as offensive scores do, so your comment about they got 9 points from the previous mentioned categories is a$$inine. And your comment about the Jets only rushing for 106 yards and how it is 40 yards below average for them might be correct but it is also the most the steelers gave up in a game all year.

JMFO,

Your another one, complaining about injuries and what if's from the last game. The steelers special teams have been a negative for them for a long time not just the last game and if they can't tackle someone returning a kick then it's their own fault. Mendenhall hasn't rushed for over 100 against the jets either and miller is always getting hurt (fragile) nothing new there. The wide receiver comment is retarded as well, go ahead and put 4 wrs and a tight end out there all game and see what happens, ask manning and brady if that worked for them especially with that make shift offensive line.

The one thing the steelers have that is different from the colts and pats is a defense and a somewhat mobile and hard to tackle QB, but he does tend to make more mistakes due to that part of his game that manning and brady don't.

U gotta respect both teams for what they have done, both excellent D's, both very well coached should be great game.

Good luck to all



Since: Jan 21, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

The Jets may beat the Steelers, but it sure won't be because Revis and Cromartie are matched up on Ward and Wallace.  I thought football was a team sport?  What about those other 3 receivers?  You know, the 2 speedy ones (Sanders and Brown) and the sure-handed big target, Miller?  If Revis and Cromartie are otherwise occupied, there had better be some other good cover guys on all of these 3 or it will be a pitiful day for the Jets secondary and a cover linebacker or two.

And, I agree that the Jets will win if Greene inches toward a 100 yard game and LT averages 5 YPC.  I also think the Jets will win if Sanchez passes for 350+ yards or if they intercept Roethlisberger 4 times.  The only problem with any of these things is that they have about as much chance of happening as a 1/2 mile wide asteroid striking the earth during the game. I'm pretty sure that no running back ran for a 100 yards against the Steelers this year.  In fact, it has been difficult for any teams to exceed 100 yds rushing against the Steelers.  So for Greene to accomplish that along with Tomlinson layering on another 5 YPC would truly be a magical day for the Jets. 

It's far more likely that Mendenhall will average 5 YPC against the Jets and have a 100 yard game. 

The funny thing is, the Steelers don't really have to pound and pressure Sanchez to win.  They might do that, but they didn't do it in the regular season meeting and could just as easily have won that game if special teams had not allowed an opening kick off for a TD, if the Jets punter kicked more the way he did in NE than the way the ball bounced for him in PGH, and if Heath Miller was playing instead of Matt Spaeth, who failed to catch two catchable TD passes at the end of the game. 

All of the above argue for why the Jets will likely lose.  Because, in order to win, they will need to be not just very good, but also pretty lucky. 



Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:03 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Revis was mostly on Ward in the last game.



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Steelerssb7th, calm down man. No way do the Steelers smoke the Packers, and I'm not sure they can smoke the Jets for that matter. Ilike the Steelers over the Jets, but in a close one. As for the Packers, I don't like that matchup at all. If we can get to Rodgers we'll have a chance.


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