Jets vs Steelers: Can Gang Green’s defense stop an offensive juggernaut?
By Jason Rodriguez
In the Jets vs Steelers Week 5 matchup, Gang Green will undoubtedly have their hands full facing an offensive juggernaut.
The defense of the New York Jets will be tested this Sunday when they take on a high-powered Pittsburgh Steelers offense that looks unstoppable. These past two weeks, the Jets defense has struggled in getting any penetration to sack the quarterback, and the secondary can’t stop anything coming their way.
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After their victory over the Buffalo Bills, the Jets have been slow in production on the defensive side of the football. Now they will face an offense that has multiple impact players on offense. Everyone will need to step up their game in order for the team to be successful.
Compared to last season, the Jets’ defense looks lost in how they need to play a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive scheme. A lot of the players did return who were on the team last season but they lost some of that aggression. The secondary looks so slow that anyone could beat them to the football with no problem. The Jets’ defense ranks 26th in passing and rushing they rank 2nd which is good.
The passing game for their opponents has been the cause of so much damage against the Jets because they have given up 49 total first downs from passing. The Steelers’ offense has two receivers that could add even more to that stat.
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Wide receivers Antonio Brown and Sammie Coates could have a field day against the Jets’ secondary if they don’t start to tighten up coverage. These two players have averaged 34.9 yards after the catch between the both of them.
With cornerback Darrelle Revis possibly out for the game on Sunday, it will be interesting to see who steps to cover Brown, one of the best receivers in the game.
The biggest thing the Jets’ defensive line will need to do is get penetration to take down quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He is built like a middle linebacker as he is 6 foot 5 inches weighing in at 240 pounds who is also able to run out the pocket.
He will need to be contained in the pocket like they did against the Bills in containing Tyrod Taylor. Roethlisberger is as physical as they come, so it’s imperative the Jets’ defense consistently bring the pressure to get him rattled.
The Jets will need big games from Lorenzo Mauldin who has been a no-show thus far for the Jets. The other players are Sheldon Richardson and Marcus Williams, both who have been missing in action the past two games. It is important to bring a different type of defensive schemes to make things confusing for the Steelers.
All of the players on the Jets’ defense will need to help gang tackle and not just have one on one matchups. The running game will be taken care of with the Jets being ranked No. 2 in the league for run stopping as they give up only 70 yards per game. It will be difficult against the Steelers with their two-headed monster they have at running back. They have DeAngelo Williams, and in his second game back, Le’Veon Bell who is amongst the best in the league.
These two players are solid veterans who can work the field and are able to come out of the backfield to catch passes. There running game is ranked No. 13 with the average of 11.8 yards between the both of them. These could be a headache to maintain so look for the Jets to take them out of the game quickly.
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Overall, head coach Todd Bowles needs to light a fire under this team because they have played horrific as of late. His defense has not stepped up at all and has been beaten bad. It will be interesting to see how they will approach this game and attack the Steelers. It will be very hard for the Jets to play from behind because they don’t play with any urgency. The defense will need to play like they did last season and prove the doubters wrong.