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Thread: Week 15 matchup: N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers

      
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    Default Week 15 matchup: N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers

    Week 15 matchup: N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers

    SN Icon Sporting News
    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/stor...burgh-steelers



    Three story lines


    Still worth the hype. This remains one of the best games of the year because it matches two of the top three teams, record-wise, in the AFC, even though the Jets have lost two in a row to fall two games behind the Patriots in the AFC East. The Steelers have won four in a row to hold a one-game lead in the AFC North and haven't lost to the Jets (7-0) in Pittsburgh since the 1970 merger.

    Winning ugly. Despite their winning streak, the Steelers offense has had problems with productivity and efficiency. They have scored just two touchdowns in the past three games, and one of those scores came after the defense set up the offense at the opposing 9-yard line. What’s more, the offense has committed 19 major penalties—17 holding, one tripping and one clipping calls—in the past four games.

    Grounded jet. The Jets have not fared much better offensively. They have scored just nine points in the past two games and haven't scored a touchdown in the past nine quarters. Making matters worse, they will be facing a defense that leads the AFC in fewest points allowed (198) and the NFL in rush defense.

    Three key Steelers


    S Troy Polamalu. Not only does he have four interceptions in the past three games, he has made the big defensive play in each of them as well. Polamalu leads the team with six interceptions, but he has been playing with a sore Achilles tendon that allows him to practice just one day a week.

    QB Ben Roethlisberger. He has been playing with a sprained foot and a broken nose and continues to take a pounding behind an offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 16 times in the past four games. And he will be facing a Jets defense that relies on the blitz to pressure and hit the quarterback.

    LB Lawrence Timmons. The Jets like to spread the ball around to different receivers, but they especially like to dump the ball to RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who leads the team with 49 catches. The Steelers will try to combat that with Timmons, their fastest linebacker and one who often matches up against backs and tight ends.

    Three key Jets


    WR Santonio Holmes. He was a former No. 1 draft choice of the Steelers and the Super Bowl 43 MVP but was traded in the offseason because of multiple off-field problems. He has been a big-play receiver for the Jets who is very good making plays after he catches the ball.

    QB Mark Sanchez. He has the lowest completion percentage (53.3) of any AFC quarterback and has thrown at least one interception in the past eight games. His performance in the past two games, completing just 34 of 77 passes (44 percent) and throwing four interceptions, is a big reason for the touchdown drought,

    CB Darrelle Revis. The Jets have two of the best corners in the league with Revis and Antonio Cromartie, but the Steelers have never worried about staying away from a top corner and not running their offense. Revis will probably try to take away WR Mike Wallace, who has a team-high eight TDs and leads the AFC with a per-catch average of 20.6 yards.

    The bottom line: Based on the production of each offense the past several games, this might not be a high-scoring game, especially with the way each team plays defense. But, despite their lack of touchdowns, the Steelers offense has actually been able to move the ball, averaging 358 yards, 21 first downs and 38 minutes time of possession in the past three games. What's more, Roethlisberger has thrown just one interception and the offense has committed just three turnovers in the past four games. Like the Jets were doing before their two-game losing streak, the Steelers have been finding ways to win. Prediction: Pittsburgh 20, N.Y. Jets 10.

    -- SN correspondent Gerry Dulac




    Read more: http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/stor...#ixzz18BJDdj5T

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    Default Re: Week 15 matchup: N.Y. Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers

    Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, QB Ben Roethlisberger sound off on Jets WR Santonio Holmes

    Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010
    By Conor Orr/The Star-Ledger




    Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said he was "shocked" when he found out Santonio Holmes would be traded to New York.

    There was no disguising the feeling Ben Roethlisberger had when he'd come to find Santonio Holmes was on his way to the Jets.

    "Shocked," he said in a conference call today with New York reporters. "I mean, you never want to lose a guy -- especially a friend -- and a player that's that good. So, it was shocking news."

    In the years they'd spent together, Roethlisberger said an understood chemistry was developed. Holmes' football IQ allowed them to skate around opposing defenses even when things went awry.

    "He knows the game," Roethlisberger said. "Whether it was playing with me and I was scrambling around trying to find the open areas or the ad-libbing he and I would do, he and I would just know what each other was doing.

    "There were times we'd do completely the wrong thing but it'd work for a touchdown. We had pretty good chemistry."

    Ultimately, they would go on to create one of the sports more memorable moments in Super Bowl XLIII, with Roethlisberger finding Holmes in the back of the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown. Holmes would go on to become the sixth WR in NFL history to win the Super Bowl MVP.

    "That's great to remember that," Roethlisberger said. "And that play will be remembered for a long, long time. Tone was a great teammate and a great football player and he brought a lot to this -- to help me every week on Sundays whether as a bailout guy or a guy to throw deep and make plays, really, a special kind of football player and I'm glad he's doing well up there in New York and obviously he's missed."

    Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin said the move was pragmatic, something he felt could be mutually beneficial, while maximizing Holmes' value.

    "We felt it was the best for all parties involved," Tomlin said. "Obviously, he had one year remaining on his contract, a portion of which he was going to miss. We had an opportunity to get value for him, we realized that we were going to potentially weaken ourselves at one position, hope was we would eventually strengthen ourselves at another position."

    And though he insists his offense has not changed since, there is still an admiration for what he was able to do on the field.

    "He's a dynamic play-maker," Tomlin said. "No doubt."

    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/201...tomlin_qb.html

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