The New York Jets are on fire. They are coming off back-to-back big wins against two of the best QBs in the NFL. The confidence is high in New York, but the Jets need to worry about the Steelers.
The Jets have been averaging 22.5 points per game against the 20th (Colts) and 25th (Patriots) ranked defenses in the NFL. The Steelers are not just an offense like the prior two opponents. The Steelers had the 2nd ranked defense in the NFL this season.
Jets fans and the media can stress how they beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and therefore can beat Ben Roethlisberger, but it doesn’t work that way. The Jets will still have to score points to win this game. Now an astute Jets’ fan will happily point out how the Jets beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh during Week 15. This is true, but the Steelers were without their defensive MVP, Troy Polamalu. In addition to that, the Jets scored 9 of their 22 points on Special Teams and Defense, which can not be guaranteed again.
I believe that Rex Ryan and the Jets realize this, and that is the true motivation behind their “no trash talk” heading into this game. Ryan and the Jets haven’t been shy at all this season, but I think that they understand trash talk might be hard to back up this weekend.
The Jets are playing well, but I think the Steelers can and will get to Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has been pretty good so far this postseason, but he only averages 191.5 yards per game. The Steelers should be able to stop him and slow down the run game.
My prediction: Steelers 24 – Jets 17
[Photo Credit: tv10sports.blogspot.com]