Steelers - Jets
Right now the Steelers are one of the "Have-Nots" in the NFL while the Jets are on of the "Haves." One of the "Haves" in this case is "Stiller-Killer" Curtis Martin. This guy can dominate and usually has career type games against the Steelers. Who can forget the 78-yard playoff TD run in the Foxboro Fog Bowl when Martin was with the Patriots. The Still Mill and I were somewhere out west when it happened - you shouldda' seen the Still Mill's tirade after that play.
Anyway, some will argue that containing Curtis Martin is the single most important aspect of this game. They will say the Steelers have nothing to fear from Wayne "Green Lantern" Crebet or from Vinny Testicle, who will almost certainly oblige the Steelers secondary with a couple of interceptions. Curtis Martin is to be the marked man on Sunday, but - oh, dear God - can he be stopped?
Well, It doesn�t' matter if the Steelers stay focused on defense. The match-up between the Steeler defense and the Jet offense will be a draw at worst for Pittsburgh and it might even leave the Steelers with a few extra opportunities because of turn-overs.
What the Steelers need to do to win this game is to simply generate some of offense with hard-nose running occasionally offset by some down-field passing. This means winning the match-up between the Steeler offense and the Jet defense.
Can it be done?
Don't look at the Jets as being some juggernaut even though ESPN ranks them second in the league behind the Rams right now. They have been very fortunate to win all of there games. In fact, The Buff Bills and Tampa Bucs both outplayed the Jets but suffered losses due to big plays, key injuries and almost freakish swings in momentum. The Bills and Bucs are very good teams for sure, but the Jets will deem the Steelers to be far less. The Patriots and Packers - teams at about the same level as Pittsburgh - also had chances to beat this team but came up short.
This actually could be the beginning of a three or four game slide for the Jets! - They play Pittsburgh, New England, Miami then Buffalo. Might they be looking ahead?
So can we generate the necessary offense to win this football game?
The Steelers will if the BUS can get good blocking up front, get into the Jet secondary and pound the Jet DBs - AND - If Graham can throw the ball well on out patterns, over the middle and downfield - AND - if Burress can hook up deep several times perhaps needing to extinguish any embarrassment after "The Spike".
Of course, all of this is incumbent on good-play calling from Gilbride, and coach Cowher's ability to have his team ready and fired-up to play in New York.
The result - the Steelers will be competitive in this game and may eek out a victory by creating turn-overs, but will most likely come up short yet another time this year.
Give it time - The 'Burgh's one QB away from being one of the "Haves" again.