The Jets visit the Steelers at Heinz Field today looking to avoid a 3-game losing streak. The Jets’ offense has only managed nine points in their last two games and has many wondering if they are in the midst of a breakdown. They have a difficult task today, trying to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, something the Jets have never done in franchise history. The Jets are 0-7 playing in Pittsburgh, and 0-11 in the state of Pennsylvania. Of course, all streaks have to end at some point, so why not today?
Neither team gives up many points, and both teams are in the middle of the pack in points scored. Expect a lower scoring affair and not many yards for either side. Both teams are in the top 3 in rush defense, so most of today’s yards will come through the air. Troy Polamalu will not be playing today for the Steelers due to an ankle injury. Polamalu missed most of the 2009 season and the Steelers defense was not the same without him. He creates big plays every time he is on the field and makes the Pittsburgh defense that much scarier. With this help, it is still a mystery if quarterback Mark Sanchez will be able to take advantage of the NFL’s 23rd ranked pass defense. Sanchez’s play has been very shaky in the last few weeks and he has not proven to be a competent quarterback in cold weather. In sub-freezing temperatures in Pittsburgh today, Sanchez will be tested once again and will need to show up for the Jets to win.
Santonio Holmes makes his return to Pittsburgh after being traded away for a fifth round pick during the offseason. He expects a standing ovation, which he will probably get after being a Super Bowl MVP for the Steelers after making the game winning touchdown catch against the Cardinals two seasons ago.
Every week the Jets say they need to start fast if they want to win, but each time they have failed to do so. They are the lowest scoring first quarter team in the NFL. As much as it would help to start fast, they don’t necessarily need it to win the game. The defense will have to do what it does best and stop the Steelers from scoring and having long drives. If the offense can make a few big plays, the Jets can pull off the much needed win. It will be a very long game for both teams.