New York Jets Week 10 Know Thy Enemy: Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov 2, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) celebrates his sixth touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 43-23. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
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At 1-8 and many weeks past desperate, the Jets face the Pittsburgh Steelers this week looking to avoid a franchise-worst nine game losing streak. I spoke with Kim Myers, the co-editor of FanSided’s Pittsburgh Steelers fan site Nice Pick Cowher, and asked her some questions about the Steelers. Her answers and game prediction are on the ensuing pages. I don’t disagree with her, I think the Steelers blow the Jets out this week with the Steelers prevailing 38-14. Roethlisberger is too hot and the Steelers’ blitz packages are too disruptive for the Jets to keep pace with them offensively.
Question 1 – Ben Roethlisberger has been the hottest quarterback in the NFL the last few weeks. What is he doing to create this success?
A: It’s a perfect storm of good play calling and excellent execution right now. That’s the best way to describe it. Steelers fans thought that going no-huddle was the only way the offense would be successful this season and they haven’t used it at all in the past two weeks. The fact that Antonio Brown can catch the ball in any situation and create plays after the catch certainly helps. The emergence of the younger receivers like Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant have contributed along with the fact that Le’Veon Bell can catch as well as he can run the ball.
Oct 20, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) rushes the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) chases during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Question 2 – Troy Polamalu and Ryan Shazier are both out this week after injuries in Week 9. How does this affect the defense? What will be the defensive game plan against the Jets?
A: Ryan Shazier had just returned from injury in the game against the Ravens so unfortunately the defense had been playing without him for a while already. Polamalu’s injury is a bit more damaging considering that our secondary is our weakest link already. The Steelers will probably be without Shamarko Thomas along with Polamalu so the safety position is very thin right now. I would think the defensive game plan shouldn’t change from the last two weeks though, they’ve been blitzing like crazy and not being afraid of giving up big plays and as a result they’ve gotten sacks and turnovers.
Oct 12, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) against the Cleveland Browns before a game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Question 3 – What has been the biggest surprise this season?
A: I think the defense has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise so far this season. Not to say that I fully expected Ben Roethlisberger to have back-to-back 6 touchdown games or anything, but I think a lot of Steelers fans expected the offense to carry the team and the fact that the defense has created turnovers the last few games has been a big surprise. Seems like the Steelers defense has been void of turnovers for a long time now.
Oct 12, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) makes a reception against Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Question 4 – What has been the biggest disappointment this season?
A: The biggest disappointment was getting blown out by Cleveland. That’s a sore spot still I think. The loss to Tampa Bay was bad because they were previously winless but getting handled by the Browns was just awful. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to screw us come playoff time.
Oct 26, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks on from the sidelines against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 51-34. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Question 5 – What is your predicition for this weekend’s game, including score?
A: I’d be crazy to expect another 6-touchdown game from Ben Roethlisberger but I actually said that in last week’s predictions so I think as long as the Steelers offense keeps their foot on the gas pedal, they can keep doing damage. I’ll say 34-6 Steelers.