Conference Championship - AFC

New York at Pittsburgh

NYJ@PIT
Writer: mattcauz

Tactics: Two big play defenses square off
Stars: S.Holmes,NYJ-WR, B.Roethlisberge,PIT-QB
Dogs: S.Greene,NYJ-RB, M.Wallace,PIT-WR

Feature
Trying to figure out how the Jets with Mark Sanchez are going to their second straight AFC Championship game is like me switching jobs and having to learn how to use aMAC. It’s a long arduous process, in the end I’m still confused and all I’ve learned is some new swear words that would make Charlie Sheen blush.

The key for the Jets was their strength at defensive back. They had Cromartie neutralizing the Patriots tight ends and had enough talent beyond Revis to slow down the Patriots offence to 21 points. The biggest concern for the Steelers is a Jets pass rush which managed to sack Tom Brady five times.

Now with that said does it really matter how good your pass rush is against Ben Roethlisberger. Won’t he just throw away a blitzing linebacker while hitting Hines Ward on 3rd & long. The great thing about the Steeler offence right now is they have multiple wide receivers who all garner 5-9 targets a game. Between Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and new comers Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown (key catch in their win over the Ravens) Pittsburgh has enough weapons to match-up against the Jets secondary.

Look for Roethlisberger to have another big game, look for Mark Sanchez to play better than we expect him to, but in the end does anyone want to bet against Roethlisberger in the playoffs?

Stars:
Holmes, Santonio (New York / Wide receiver)
You beat Pittsburgh with wide receivers and Holmes has started to develop a knack for big plays in the playoffs. Plus is their anyone on this team who wants to see the Steelers lose more than former Steeler Santonio Holmes?

Roethlisberger, Ben (Pittsburgh / Quarterback)
At what point can start talking about Ben Roethlisberger as a true elite quarterback? Watching Ben get beat up week in and week out by opposing rushers, I'm guessing every member of his offensive line have younger sisters that Big Ben has aggressively "dated". Seriously, between his non existent pass protection and lack of a consistent running game Roethlisberger still finds a way to win and put up solid statistics.

Dogs:
Greene, Shonn (New York / Running back)
Yes he had a good game against the Patriots but for one more time, let's say it all together now "You don't run on the Steelers."

Wallace, Mike (Pittsburgh / Wide receiver)
Am I turing on him after one game? Yes, yes I am. Roethlisberger is spreading the ball around and Wallace can expect to have Revis on him throughout the game.

Consider these...
Ellis, Shaun (New York / Defensive end)
The man is playing like a veteran who knows he doesn't have many more chances to win a Super Bowl. He'll have plenty of tackle opportunities plus do I need to mention again how porous the Steelers line is?

Mendenhall, Rashard (Pittsburgh / Running back)
You can run the ball against the Jets and the last time these team met (Back in Week 15) Rashard gained 99 yards, one touchdown while averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Forget these...
Revis, Darrelle (New York / Cornerback)
Little tackle opportunities and you don't get points for forcing the QB to throw in another direction.

Rankings
James Harrison – LB
Ben Roethlisberger -QB
Shaun Ellis – DL
David Harris – LB
Troy Polamalu – SS
Santonio Holmes – WR
Rashard Mendenhall – RB
Hines Ward – WR
Eric Smith – FS
Mark Sanchez – QB

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