Week 2: Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. New York Jets
- QuarterbackBen Roethlisberger is not a pure passer, but he has shown that he knows how to win games by making clutch passes at the end of games. Roethlisberger has the strength of a linebacker, but he also has the touch and the ability to buy time with his feet.The Jets came out of the gate flying and Mark Sanchez has to be relieved at his hot start. Sanchez must string great performances together and that means improving his accuracy and making sure he throws a catchable pass.
- OffenseMike Tomlin thinks he has the players who can complement Roethlisberger. Running back Rashard Mendenhall should be back for this game and Mike Wallace is one of the league’s fastest deep threats. Look for Heath Miller to handle the Steelers’ third-down chances.The Jets are not going to be successful if they ask Sanchez to sit in the pocket and throw 40 passes every week. They have to let Shonn Greene run the ball hard and soften up the defense. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley is a solid route runner who caught a TD pass in the Jets opener.
- DefenseHard-hitting and nasty defense has been the Steelers’ calling card for generations. While this may not be the best Steeler defense in recent memory, the linebacking crew still sets the tone with its aggressiveness. Strong safety Troy Polamalu is a big hitter and a skilled player.The Jets may have quite a few questions on offense, but the defense is stellar. In addition to diversity at the linebacker position, the Jets have the best cover corners in the league in Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. This duo is one of the best in league history.
- Special TeamsThe Steelers got a huge season from Antonio Brown last year as he averaged 27.3 yards per punt return last year. He’s a legitimate threat every time he gets his hands on the ball. Shaun Suisham is just ordinary as a placekicker.The Jets are not going to give this category away as special teams coach Mike Westhoff leads his last unit before retiring. Joe McKnight struggled early under Westhoff but now understands what it takes. Nick Folk is not a Pro Bowler but knows how to come through in the clutch.
The Steelers may have the intangible edge as they come home after a tough loss in Denver and will try to establish their physical dominance. The Jets are an up-and-down team and may have a hard time matching last week’s effort in their big win over the Bills.