Week two and the Steelers get set to host Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan and the Jets at Heinz Field in the home opener.
The Steelers will be it appears without two big players in James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, but it sounds like all-world CB Darrelle Revis won’t be a go for the Jets either.
Here’s our three keys to the win along with our final prediction on the game.
1. Open it Up Against the Jets Secondary – No Darrelle Revis means that the Steelers have a big edge when it comes to their passing game against the Jets backfield. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders should all get a lot of looks, and while the Steelers run game continues to be a work in progress, the passing game needs to carry the Steelers to points.
2. Nothing Cheap – The Jets last week feasted on a Bills team that committed a bunch of of turnovers, and gave them short fields all day. NY’s D got interceptions from Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie, who returned his for a TD. The Steelers can’t give the Jets easy points, like 2010 when in the loss they began the game allowing a kick return for a score. Make the Jets earn everything they get.
3. Put the Pressure on Sanchez – Last week the Steelers pass rush was nowhere to be found, and Peyton Manning and the Broncos rushed them with a no-huddle attack I expect to see the Jets try to imitate this week. The Steelers can’t allow the Jets to get into a groove, and one way to do that is to get to Sanchez and make him sweat. LaMarr Woodley said the Steelers would win – him having a big day rushing at Sanchez would help that a lot.
Prediction – Falling to 0-2 doesn’t bode well for any team, and with the injuries already lingering on the Steelers, being two games below .500 already would not be good. With that, I think the Steelers do rebound this week, as they did show last week that they can hang in a tough environment, they just failed to finish. I think the defense will step up, and the offense will do enough to eek out a three-point win to get to 1-1. Steelers 16 NY Jets 13