The Steelers earned another very good road victory Sunday against a very good Jets football team. Make no mistake - the absence of Vinny Testicle for most of the game means little in the context of how much improved this Steeler team is and how very close they are to being an elite team once again. I'm sure any Jet fan will tell you that Pittsburgh won this game because of poor QB play by Ray Lucas. This is laughable for several reasons:
- Ray Lucas' mobility hurt the Steelers on more than one occasion when the Jet receivers had a hard time getting open against the Pittsburgh cover scheme today. Club-footed Vinny would have found the same problems passing at times and would have suffered - not prospered because of it. Sure, he would have performed better for other portions of the game, but the Steelers did not yield a TD and held the Jets under 100 yards passing. Very impressive and not something that Vinny would have overcome completely.
- The Jets were well rested coming off a bye and playing at home. All of these factors should have been a clear advantage for the Jets regardless of their starting QB going down. Ray Lucas had the entire game to get comfortable and accustomed to playing again. The Steeler defense made sure he did not get comfortable and he did not reap any benefits from having Curtis Martin in the backfield.
- Kordell Stewart is the back up QB for the Steelers as is Ray Lucas. The only advantage the Steelers have in this regard is that Stewart knew he might start and was able to prepare during the week by taking snaps at practice. Ray lucas - though he did not take as many snaps as Kordell - did prepare for two weeks along with Vinny by watching film and attending meetings and so forth.
This last point is the critical indicator as to how far the Steelers have come in a short time. Remember, the Jets have beaten some very good football teams AND were regarded as one of the best teams in football the first quarter of the season.
This respect and position among the elite teams in the NFL was earned by the Jets - they are a very good football team.
However, the Steelers did not earn such respect because of their poor record and offensive performances so far this year - this was also deserved and earned.
This is what makes this game and performance by the Steelers so interesting.
If the Jets - at Home, well rested, with a very good defense and an excellent running game - get manhandled by the Pittsburgh Steelers simply because Vinny Testeverde leaves the game, what does this say about how even or perhaps better the Pittsburgh Steelers are than the Jets at every other position other than QB.
Indeed, if the Jets are an elite team - and they are - then the Steelers, in dominating the Jets at New York, are an NFL caliber QB away from being an elite team as well. In fact, it can be argued that the Steelers would be a cut above a team like the Jets if they had an NFL quality starting QB based upon the past two games. That is simply how good the performances have been the past two weeks for most everyone on this team.
If only Kordell could be the answer? Is he�