GWR Preview: What To Watch For

What to watch for when the Jets, Steelers have the ball on Sunday afternoon.

The New York Jets (9-4) have never won on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3). Why start now? Because they need to.

Something to watch when the Steelers are on offense —

Not much, really. The Steelers offense has been as anemic as the Jets' offense lately. I suppose you could watch that big sloth-looking dude named Ben Roethlisberger… He's pretty good at taking hits. New York hasn't pressured quarterbacks much until recently, and it will take actual contact on Big Ben (not just pressure) and better wrapping-up to slow him down. Poor tackling will not cut it.

Something to watch when the Steelers are on defense —

This great defensive unit in Pittsburgh has a problem on its hands. It will be facing the offense of a "damn good football coach." (Brian Schottenheimer's words, not mine.) Watch for one Wildcat (Seminole, Tiger, whatever they call it now) rush in a critical moment, and watch the Steelers sniff it out and RUIN it. If Schotty tries to get cute calling plays -- which we all know he will -- Pittsburgh will make the NYJ pay.

A Steelers strength —

Stopping the run. Obvious? Sorry, it's the best I could come up with. Deal. Opposing running backs of Pittsburgh average 2.9 yards a carry, which is only good enough for best in the league and half a yard better than the second-best Jets. New York has not been great running the ball lately, but that's just what the Jets should try to do against Pittsburgh. Cut off the head of the defense, go for the jugular, etc.

A Steelers weakness —

Rushing behind the left side of the offensive line. Pittsburgh has had 17 rushes stopped behind the line of scrimmage when going left (third-worst in the league).

Matchup to watch —

Jets' Darrelle Revis vs. Steelers' wideout Mike Wallace. For this reason: "I don't care about nobody. He's just another guy. He's a real good player, but, hey, I'm a real good player myself," Wallace said. "I don't fear nobody and I don't back down from nobody."

Final thoughts and St. Nick's pick (ho, ho, ho):

Like the Jets, I was pretty good earlier in the year… Lately, my picks suck. So look for me to be wrong again. Steelers 13, Jets 10. I picked the Steelers so the Jets win. You're welcome.

Follow Nick St. Denis, author of the blog OffTheLineFootball.com, at Twitter.com/NickStDenis


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