Blog Entry

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: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

When you play bad running teams, it makes it very easy to  have your stats look good.

Here is another stat you are overlooking. When you combine all the Jets regular season opponents rushing averages it comes up to 115.5. When you average up all the Steelers opponents it comes out to 115.3. That is only .2 yards a game, so how is that for padding stats. Then you factor in the fact that the Steelers opponents got 28.1 yards less a game than the Jets, give me a break. Plus the Steelers opponents got .6 yards a carry less than Jets opponents. 

I can single out a few teams and make the Steelers look better. How about the lowly Browns. They ran for 107 yards on 25 carries against the Jets (4.3ypc). Against the Steelers in two games those same Browns got 113 on 39 carries for an average of 2.9ypc. Does it mean anything not reaaly. You look at the whole body of work. The two games the Steelers lost that you speak of, they didn't lose because they couldn't stop the run. The Patriots beat them in the air. The Jets scored 9 of their 22 points on Special Teams and Defense. The offense only scored 13 points. The Jets faced more teams 4 in the bottom 10 in rushing than the Steelers 3.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Steelers D should give Sanchez fits. Look at what they did the second half of the Baltimore game. It's too hard to contain Harrison AND Woodley!




Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

@STEELERSSB7TH ....How is it possible that you've been a Steelers fan since the 70's....that would mean that you are a fully grown adult, and wiith spelling like that I find that hard to believe....


Anyway, the Steelers do lose in the postseason....check 2007, they were one and done against Jacksonville. In 2004 they lost to the Patriots.

As for the Steelers not losing a second time....last year they lost twice to the Bengals and lost in the second game against the Browns...so once again you are wrong.




Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

depalm,

That would make more sense, but you're leaving out a lot of stats. Like head to head. The Steelers got 147 yards on 25 carries against the Jets for an average of 5.9 yards a carry. That is well above the Steelers average on the season of 120.2. The Steelers conversely held the Jets to a 3.9 yards per carry. 1o6 on 27 carries is all the Jets could muster. The Jets averaged 148.4 yards a game so that is well below their average.



Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Against teams that finished in the top ten in rushing offense, the Steelers went 2-2 and gave up 86 yards per game

This is true, but 86 yards per game against the top running offenses is great.  These teams averaged around 150 yards rushing during the regular season.

The key is that 86 yards per game rushing probably translates to about 2.5 yards per carry, and this is not enough to pull in the LB's and safeties or to make play-action work effectively.

The key to the game will be how accurate Sanchez is...if he can keep sustained drives going with short passes, the Jets will win.  If there are a bunch of 3-and-outs, the Steelers will win.




Since: Mar 21, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Not to be anal but we're in the '10's now?  '00 was 2000 - 2009.  Also we would be 120 minutes away if we are recording our 7th Superbowl.



Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:32 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Against teams that finished in the top ten in rushing offense, the Steelers went 2-2 and gave up 86 yards per game.  The Jets went 3-1 against teams that finished in the top ten in rushing offense and gave up 86.5 yards a game.

When you play bad running teams, it makes it very easy to  have your stats look good.



Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:02 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

You'e an idiot MAGNUM, have you ever seen the Steelers play or do you just read Judge and Prisco? Ben rattled??? Come ON!! Coolest QB in the game, look at all his 4th quarter comebacks over the years, they speak for themselves...not to mention 2 Rings! Surprised you didnt make reference to Sindy with your Filthadelphia logo.



Since: Apr 5, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:52 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

Josh, you might want to - you know - actually know something about football, or at least the teams involved, if you're going to write an piece like this.

There is absolutely no way that the Jets put Revis on Ward.  At this stage in his career, Ward is likely the number 3 option on most passing downs.  If the Jets choose to isolate Revis on any of the Steelers receivers, it will be Wallace.  When the Steelers go 3 wide, I would actually be surprised if Cromartie is even on Ward- he'll most likely be on Sanders. 

But keep in mind- it is entirely likely that the Steelers will run out of their bunch formations - in efforts to make the Jets run zone coverages.

That is all.

 





Since: Apr 21, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2011 10:33 am
 

Steelers vs. Jets: 7-Point Championship Preview

STEELERS:

We are 60mins From FOOTBALL IMMORTALITY!!!!!  A Record 7th Super Bowl Title will put you in an Unprecedented and Enviable Position as the TEAM OF THE '00's......  STAIRWAY TO 7 BABY....  LED BY #7..... LET'S GO BIG BEN!!!!!

GO STEELERS!!!!   
The "ONLY" Six (6) Times Super Bowl Champions in NFL History!!!!



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