Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is pressured by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson (50) in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
OK Jets fans, here we go. Week six is a little over 24 hours away, as the Road to MetLife Stadium continues. From MetLife Stadium, Geno Smith, Bilal Powell, and the rest of the New York Jets, take on Ben Roethislberger, Antonio Brown and the rest of the winless Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite the 3-2 record versus 0-4 for the Steelers,the Jets had better be prepared for this one. As long as Big Ben is on the football field, the Steelers will never be an easy out for the New York Jets. He’s a tough guy to beat, as we all remember the visions of the AFC Championship game from 2010.
With all of that said, here are some keys to victory for the Jets:
CONTAIN BIG BEN:
Think back to that fateful night in Pittsburgh. We nearly made it back in that championship game, but the plays Ben made, on the run, ended up being too much. Remember the final completion to Heath Miller that sealed the game? That was on a scramble, and was followed by a scene that haunted us the rest of the off season, coach Ryan slamming his headset on the ground.
We need to prevent that tomorrow.
The stats have continued to show his success under pressure this year. According to PFF, Ben has a 92.2 NFL QBR when blitzed, and 80.9 when NOT BLITZED. What does that tell us? It tells us that if you blitz Ben Roethlisberger, you had better get there, otherwise he will burn you. Ben is so large, he is difficult to bring down. The key? Get pressure on him, but keep him in contain. And when you get to him, bring him down, do not let him improvise.
PROTECT THAT FOOTBALL
Qualify this under stating the obvious, but still is worth talking about. We all know the correlation between protecting the football and winning football games, and the Jets are as good of an example as any. We have seen how the Jets play when they make stupid mistakes with the ball, see the game against the Titans. We have seen how they play when they don’t, see the Falcons game.
Geno Smith and company must continue to grow as an offense this week, and not make any stupid turnovers. Big Ben will take advantage if they do, you can count on that.
BALANCE ON OFFENSE
We need a big game out of Marty Mornhinweg again, like we did this past Monday night. It won’t impress many fantasy football owners, but is what the Jets need to do to win real football games.
The running game was finally at its best last week, with the three-headed attack of Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, and Mike Goodson. Marty must include all three of those guys on Sunday. Spread the ball around in the passing game as well. To make use of their guys, likely without Santonio Holmes, they need to use everybody, to keep the Steelers off-balance. Jeff Cumberland will make for an interesting matchup over the middle of the field.
What do all of you see as the keys to the game?