Jets Preview: Three Key Matchups

Three key matchups to watch in Sunday's AFC battle at Pittsburgh

Three Things To Watch In Sunday's Jets v. Steelers Game

1. The Slide Rule –

The Jets face a daunting enough task on Sunday going against AFC North leading Pittsburgh, who currently boast a 10-3 record. Making matters worse for the Jets is the fact that they're a lifetime 0-6 against the Steelers on the road and the Steelers are a healthy 4-2 at Heinz Field this year. It's going to be a battle. "If you plan on beating Pittsburgh, you have to bring it all and that's what we're planning on bringing," said head coach Rex Ryan. Being able to "Bring it" would be a change for the Jets, who have lost two straight games to divisional opponents, managing just nine points combined during those two games. If The Jets hope to end the slide at Pittsburgh and halt their losing streak, the offense must step up.

2. Happy Feet –

During the Jets two game losing streak, quarterback Mark Sanchez has completed just 34 of 77 passes for a scant 380 yards passing with no touchdowns and four interceptions. A big problem has been Sanchez looking indecisive in the pocket and seemingly lacking confidence, in particular in split-second situations. Ryan attributes it to Sanchez having a case of happy feet in the pocket and not settling in before making his throws, which leads to interceptions or, like Sunday, fumbles. "When the pocket collapses, you just have to adlib a little bit and do your best to put two hands on the football, that's another thing we talked about," Sanchez said. "You can't leave it uncovered like that." The Jets head coach conceded that he contemplated pulling Sanchez from the game on Sunday but this week, backup quarterback Mark Brunnell has been receiving the normal amount of snaps in practice and doesn't appear poised to be taking the starter's job.

3. Holmes Coming –

Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes had spent the previous four seasons with the Steelers, where he was named Super Bowl MVP, but his struggles with the law lead to an offseason trade to New York. Holmes has been a game-changer for the Jets, including several clutch catches late in the game. Yet, Holmes must atone for a horrid drop last Sunday against Miami, when he let a sure touchdown slip through his fingers. Holmes admits to some confused feelings this week but that he will "let all the emotions out" on Sunday and that he is focused on a very good Pittsburgh defense. "They try to keep everything in front of them. They use the strength of their defensive line and their linebackers to get pressure on the quarterback and cause a lot of confusion with zone blitzes and things like that," Holmes said. "That's probably one of the biggest aspects that we have to focus on with that game.


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