The AFC matchup this weekend is a rematch of the same two teams on December 19. On that day, the Jets came out on top 22 to 17. In that game, there were a lot of things that will have an effect in the upcoming game as well. I don’t look for the same game, but I do look for a close final score.
The Jets are coming off a huge win over the Patriots. One in which they talked trash relentlessly in the lead up to the game. They took some new defensive schemes into the game and had the Patriots offense confused from the start. I look for them to do the same defensive things versus the Steelers. Oddly, they have stopped trash talking. Perhaps because they realize that this game is not really the rivalry that they have with the Pats and because the last time the two teams played Jets QB Sanchez didn’t throw a single TD pass. He was only sacked once, but none of the Jets scores came from him passing the ball. The Jets know to win the game versus the Steelers that it is their defense, as it has been in most of their wins, that has to get the job done and against the Steelers that is easier said than done. In the last game, the Jets defense got to Steelers QB Roethlisberger several times and the special teams came up big scoring on kick returns.
The Steelers are looking to be the balanced team they know they can be. They are able to both pass and run the ball and even if defenses get to their QB, he is a hard man to bring to the ground. The Steelers defense is healthy and that means Polamalu who did not play in the last meeting of these two teams. He is a game changer and against a QB like Sanchez, he may also be a game maker. Heath Miller will also be in this game for the Steelers and he was not in the last game. The Steelers are in focused mode for this game and the Jets will have to come with everything in order to pull out a win. It will be a defensive showdown though that decides the outcome.
In the end, I think that the Steelers will prevail. But the game will be close, possibly as close as 3 points difference. The team whose QB stands the most upright during the game and the team with the most pressing defense will win. I think that team will be the Steelers.
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