Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's the Jets

The Steelers caught what appears to be a huge break with New York's improbable 28-21 victory at New England on Sunday.

Once again, the Steelers won't have to face their biggest tormentor, Tom Brady, in the playoffs.

And when that happens, it usually means the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl.

Since 2004, the only team other than the Patriots to knock the Steelers out of the playoffs was Jacksonville in 2007.

© It will be interesting to see what Rex Ryan has to say this week after investing so much into beating the Patriots.

Ryan called the game at New England, the second-biggest game in Jets history, behind only Super Bowl III.

After getting the team to believe that, it will be interesting to see if there is a letdown.

© The Steelers came out of their 22-17 loss to the Jets last month feeling pretty good about a possible rematch with New York.

The Steelers felt their offensive line played its best game of the season in that game, as Ben Roethlisberger was sacked just once and the running game produced nearly 150 yards.

Add to that the fact that Troy Polamalu did not play in that game and there's a lot to be optimistic about.

26 comments:

Yoda said...

Yeah, no Heath either in that game, right? Overlooked, his contribution is.

Anonymous said...

It's going to be funny hearing fat Rex talk trash all week

datruth4life said...

Dale, Heath Miller didn't play that game either, so that was huge. I also wasn't impressed by the CB duo of Revis and Cromartie that game. Revis is a great player, but Cromartie doesn't want to tackle and holds a lot the whole game. Revis can't cover Wallace, Ward, A. Brown, E. Sanders & Heath Miller the whole game.

One concern for the Steelers is that I think OLB Calvin Pace didn't play that game last time either. He put a lot of pressure on Brady today. Still, our OL had its best game of the season against the Jets. Gotta like the Steelers chances against the Jets.

Anonymous said...

Now that the Patriots are out,I think we are the best team left. It is our tournament to lose. Just like in 2008 when the Ravens beat the Titans and in 2005 when the Broncos beat the Pats. The Jets just gave us a big boost and I think we can do the rest of the heavy lifting. As long as we play our game and don't have major injuries, we better get our seventh ring finger ready.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Anonymous said...

The Colts and the Pats are great examples of what happens to teams that rely almost exclusively on the pass (and combine that with average or below defenses). It's a lot easier to plan a defense when you know you don't have to worry about stopping the run at all.

On the ESPN post-game, they showed stats that while Brady is 14-5 all time in the playoffs, he's only 4-5 in the past 9.

On defense, NY won't be able to sit back and ignore the deep pass against the Steelers and just protect against the dink and dunk as they did vs NE.

marc said...

i must say, there were times against the ravens that gay seemed to have very good coverage in the second half. it also seemed that the steelers kept #43 away from the line of scrimmage for most of the game to provide help to the DB's. is that what you saw dale?

should be a good game against the jets.

clark had a great game by the way.

Greg Mercer said...

loved seeing Brady get planted into the turf on that fumble. you can tell he doesn't like getting hit.

also loved seeing Woodhead put the ball on the ground. i can't believe more guys don't rip it out of his hands. he's tough, but he's too small to run inside.

Greg Mercer said...

the only thing that worries me (besides special teams) is that the Jets are not turning the ball over.

Dale Lolley said...

Yeah, Miller did not play in that one. That is a difference as well.

I still think the Packers are a very dangerous team. Very good defense, good QB and receivers. And they're used to not being able to run the ball. The Steelers stopping their running game won't phase them.

But let's not get ahead of things just yet.

As for Polamalu playing a lot of deep coverage, yes he was deep in this game more than he has been recently. I think they wanted to take Heap and Boldin out of the equation over the middle.

ibygeorge said...

It looks like Allen will be out for the Jets. Who will fill that spot? Will the Steelers squib to the Jets? That opening kickoff return and the non hold call on Cromartie was a terrible start. Is McFadden a go for the Jets?

Anonymous said...

The game is not going to be the same game as Dec. 19, minus the kickoff TD plus Troy & Heath playing, with Ben having all kinds of time, etc. Doesn't work that way. I still think Steelers win, but a 4th quarter dogfight again, and I'd expect the Jets to get alot more pressure on Ben this time

Anonymous said...

Some of the experts were pointing out that the Jets coverage forced Brady to hold onto the ball longer than normal, and that led to sacks that rattled him. For BB, holding the ball and getting hit is an ordinary game for him, so no advantage for the Jet's defence. I think the difference maker will be if Mendenhall/Redman can get the ground yards.

adamg said...

It's not like the Steelers have never seen a Rex Ryan defense many times before.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers should be smelling the blood in the water now. This is the most experienced team remaining with the the best defense and the most battle-tested QB as huge added pluses. I like the Steelers chances.

It will be a long week waiting for Sunday night.

Anonymous said...
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Andy said...

Dale,

We should probably use the amazingly new Bruce Arians wrinkle he threw in on Saturday again this week. I think we threw the best screen pass to Rashard in 15 years in Pittsburgh in the 3rd Quarter. We actually sucked the D in and had blocker in front of him. It was thing of beauty and should help against the Jets D.

Vaflyer said...

I am curious to see how the Jets play us after Sunday. They sat back with 7 or 8 in coverage on every pass play. This is the opposite of what they usually try to do. Will they continue that, or will they go back to the old style? Ben is no Brady in running a precision offense, but if the Jets make this game "street ball" Ben will make them pay.

In addition, I don't think I saw the Pats take any shots down the field. They credited this to Brady not having time, but I saw him hold onto the ball for as much as 8 or 9 seconds. He had some coverage sacks not just pressure sacks. Ben can move once he goes out of the pocket, so that is something the Jets will need to watch for. Brady won't run, but Ben will. Ben will take his shots down the field. If he can get them against the Ravens, he can get them against the Jets.

If the D can play as well this game as they did in the 2nd half against the Ravens, they will be Super Bowl bound.

adamg said...

NE didn't take any shots downfield because they don't have anyone who can get deep since they dumped Moss. Brady's a good qb, but it's pretty easy for a professional defense to prepare for a team that essentially has one dimension to its offense - the dink and dunk. NE has no deep threat and no running game.

Anonymous said...

"... it's pretty easy for a professional defense to prepare for a team that essentially has one dimension to its offense - the dink and dunk." The Patriots record this season, and what they did to some good teams (including the Steelers) suggests it is not as easy as you make it sound.

Anonymous said...

yeah, only guy Brady can take deep shots is Branch. And while still kinda good, age has taken a lot of his speed

adamg said...

Against a below average NE defense, the first 8 Steeler possessions resulted in 3 points. The score was only 10-3 at halftime and the last 10 NE points came from drives that started at the Pgh 41 and 33 yard lines. Better production from the offense and maybe the game is a lot closer than it was. Just sayin...

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone saying that Heath didn't play? he did lol, he got a touchdown to.

Vaflyer said...

Heath did NOT play against the Jets the first time:

Per ESPN:

Week 15 NYJ L 22-17 Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

Anonymous said...

Miller's absence was huge as Spaeth had some big drops as his replacement. Spaeth's production for a 3rd round pick is terrible.

Dale Lolley said...

Miller did not play. You might remember, it was Spaeth dropping a potential game-winning TD pass on the next-to-last play.

Anonymous said...

actually Spaeth has been pretty good this year at blocking so its not like he's a total bust