I have been looking at this game for the past couple of weeks pondering the Steelers ability to play a complete game and beat the New York Jets.� This game is hugely important and every member of this team cannot overlook that importance.� The Steelers can take another giant step in a somewhat of a dream season.
Here is what the Steelers need to do:
Run the ball � Even though Fu will be in and Bettis is likely to sit, the Steelers strength this year has been a solid offensive line. �The O-line must get some push up front against the Jets or this will be a long day.� Furthermore, the run cannot be abandoned like it has in past years when the Steelers would struggle early.� They must run until it hurts.
Catch and Hold onto the ball � The Jets are having an unbelievable season at taking the ball away - +20 overall with 33 total takeaways.� The Steelers have been fairly good in that department for most of the year, but they have also been lucky.� On many occasions, Stewart has thrown into coverage or a receiver has bobble or deflected a ball that somehow fell helplessly to the ground.� The Jets Defense has found a way to get to those balls.� There�s no reason for it, but that fortune in turnovers has led them to a 7-4 record and second in the AFC East.� The Steelers must concentrate on doing the very simple things � like pitch and catch � very well.
Produce some sacks and some heavy pressure � The Steelers cannot afford to let the opportunity of having Vinny Testeverde in the pocket go to waste.� The Steeler defense had 10 sacks against another club-footed wonder, Brad Johnston, earlier in the season � there should be no difference here.� There should be plenty of blitz packages implemented for this game and the nickel defense should not rear its ugly head until the Steelers are up by 50 points.� Keeping the pressure on for 60 minutes is a must to regain the edge and ferocity they�ve had all year.
Don�t worry too much about Martin � The Steelers cannot focus too much on Curtis Martin.� He will no doubt have a good game much in the same way Priest Holmes did. The Steelers should simply focus on what they do well, the rest will take care of itself.
Win at Home � the Jets are an amazing 5-0 on the road this year including wins at Miami and New Orleans.� The Jets are always well prepared and play with confidence on the road.� The Steelers cannot expect too much of an advantage in this area or the Jets will beat them.� They do, however, need to make a statement this weekend playing at home.� The rest of the league needs to witness just how tough of a place the new stadium is to play.� A message needs to be sent.
The Steelers should win this game with ease � the Jets are really no match for Pittsburgh.� I would predict a huge victory for Pittsburgh, somewhere in the range of 20 points, but you just never know what will transpire at the end of the game.� So, at some point, the score will 31-10 Steelers � probably at the 10-minute mark of the 4th quarter.� From there, hold onto your seats�