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Thread: Jets' Scott set for 'brawl' vs. Steelers

      
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    Default Jets' Scott set for 'brawl' vs. Steelers

    Jets' Scott set for 'brawl' vs. Steelers

    Jets Blog By MARK CANNIZZARO
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/...rPtnDf7LxQELfJ
    Last Updated: 5:45 AM, December 19, 2010


    PITTSBURGH -- When Bart Scott saw today's game on the Jets' schedule, he said he smiled. The linebacker, who used to play for the Ravens, has played the Steelers 13 times in his career and, he said, has had some of his best games against them.

    "I enjoy playing them because I know what kind of game it's going to be," Scott said. "This is the type of game I'm built for. It's not a boxing match, it's more of a brawl and I enjoy that type of combat. I've had some of my greatest games against that team. Hopefully I can duplicate that."

    Since 2005, when he started playing regularly in Baltimore, Scott has 63 tackles, 4 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and recovery in eight games against Pittsburgh.

    "They play football like it used to be played," Scott said of the Steelers. "They try and be physical and impose their will on you. This is my absolutely most favorite team to play -- ever. Being in Baltimore for so long, Pittsburgh was a big deal."

    *

    Wayne Hunter is in his seventh NFL season and against the ferocious Steelers defense, he'll start his first career game as an offensive lineman, replacing the injured Damien Woody at right tackle.

    "This has been a long time coming," Hunter said. "I'm just happy it's finally come. I've had a few starts at tight end, but nothing like this."

    Hunter, who yielded three sacks against the Dolphins last Sunday after Woody left the game, will see a lot of Steelers LBs LaMarr Woodley (8 sacks) and James Harrison (10 sacks).

    "It hasn't been easy," Hunter said. "If you want to be the best you've got to go against the best."

    Rex Ryan, earlier this season, called Hunter "the best backup tackle in the NFL," adding that Hunter could start on a number of teams around the league.

    "I heard [Ryan's words], but he tends to exaggerate sometimes," Hunter said. "I'm glad he has confidence in me. I've just got to do my best and back it up."

    *

    One year after leading the NFL in rushing, the Jets have produced only two individual 100-yard rushing performances this season -- and they both came in the same game: Against the lowly Bills in the fourth game of the season.

    LaDainian Tomlinson ran for a season-high 133 yards and two TDs that day and Shonn Greene rushed for 117 yards.

    Tomlinson's high rushing output other than the Buffalo game was 94 yards the following week against the Vikings. He has averaged 50.3 yards per game in the eight games since.

    Greene's high, other than the Buffalo game, was 72 yards against the Browns. Since the Buffalo game, Greene has averaged 48 yards per game.

    *

    Kicker Nick Folk has played one game at Heinz Field, a notoriously difficult place to kick, and was 2-for-2 in a 20-13 Cowboys loss in 2008. . . . The Steelers have outrushed their opponent in 11 of their 13 games and average 60 more yards per game than their opponents. Led by Rashard Mendenhall's 1,073 yards and nine TDs, the Steelers have rushed for 1,563 yards compared to their opponents' 781 yards. . . . The Steelers have 17 interceptions, including a team-high six by safety Troy Polamalu, who is listed as doubtful and not expected to play because of a leg injury. The Steelers are 26-3 in games when Polamalu has at least one interception. The Jets have a total of 7 INTs, second-lowest in the NFL.



    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/jets/...#ixzz18ZkJWSRL

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    Default Re: Jets' Scott set for 'brawl' vs. Steelers

    Jets return to Heinz Field for first time since 2004 playoffs

    Sunday, December 19, 2010
    By Gerry Dulac, PIttsburgh Post-Gazette



    Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
    Jets kicker Doug Brien misses the first of his two field goals at Heinz Field Jan. 15, 2005.


    Ben Roethlisberger might be blessed with the toughness of a Spartan warrior and an uncanny ability to make plays out of nothing, but recall of past performances and memory of significant moments in his career have never been a strong point for the Steelers' quarterback.

    Even from the magical season of 2004, when as a rookie he became the first NFL quarterback to post a 13-0 record in the regular season, Roethlisberger has a hard time recalling some of the key moments in his first playoff game against the New York Jets.

    For example, he did not remember a 75-yard punt return by Santana Moss that allowed the Jets to tie the score at 10-10. Or throwing an interception that was returned 86 yards by safety Reggie Tongue to give the Jets a 17-10 lead in the third quarter.

    But, more than anything else, he did not remember the moment that most of the 11 other current Steelers who played in that AFC first-round playoff game have never forgotten, a bizarre and fortuitous sequence of back-to-back events that remain etched in their consciousness "like it was yesterday," said wide receiver Hines Ward.

    Never mind whatever else happened that January night at Heinz Field, when the Steelers, with the No. 1 seed in the AFC, beat the Jets, 20-17, in overtime. Six years later, the players remember only one thing.

    "The kicker missed a field goal," said linebacker Larry Foote.

    Not just one.

    Two.

    Both in the final 2:02 of regulation. Both into the wind at the closed end of the field. One from 47 yards that hit the crossbar. The other, with four seconds remaining, from 43 yards.

    "They had a chance to win it and they couldn't close the deal," linebacker James Farrior said. "I was sick the whole time."

    The kicker was Doug Brien, and the misses allowed the Steelers to escape from defeat and advance to the AFC championship game. Not since Dallas Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith dropped a pass in the end zone in Super Bowl XIII had the Steelers received such an unexpected postseason gift from an opponent.

    "That's all I remember, the field-goal kicker, he blew it," Ward said.

    Return to Heinz field

    The Jets return to Heinz Field at 4:15 p.m. today for the first time since that 2004 playoff nightmare, and, while the game does not carry the same do-or-die playoff stakes that existed six years ago, it carries significant postseason implications for both teams.

    And, based on the recent performance of both offenses, which have combined to score only two touchdowns in 21 quarters, it is a game that, heavens to Doug Brien, could be decided by a kicker.

    The Steelers (10-3) can clinch one of the two first-round playoff byes in the AFC today with a victory against the Jets and losses by the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Jets (9-4), two games behind the New England Patriots in the AFC East, can clinch a playoff spot with a victory against the Steelers and losses by the Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs.

    Only three Jets players -- defensive end Shaun Ellis, linebacker Bryan Thomas and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery -- remain from that 2004 game.

    What if it comes down to the kicker, just like it did in 2004?

    Nick Folk of the Jets has converted 25 of 34 field goals this season, only 5 of 11 from 40 yards and beyond.

    Shaun Suisham is 9 of 9 in four games since being signed to replace Jeff Reed, including 6 of 6 from between 40 and 49 yards. He is 3 for 3 at Heinz Field, which, given the stadium's reputation as the Bermuda Triangle for kickers, is astonishing.

    "Sure, there are places around the league where you hear that," Suisham said. "So far, so good."

    Opposing kickers have never fared well at Heinz Field, especially from the same bedeviling distance -- 40 to 49 yards -- that did in Brien.

    Since the facility opened in 2001, opponents have converted 82 of 109 field-goal attempts during the regular season at Heinz Field, a conversion rate of 75.2 percent. But, between 40-49 yards, those same kickers have converted just 23 of 38 attempts, or 60.1 percent.

    None of those misses were as astounding, or beneficial, as the ones by Brien. Curiously, Brien was nearly perfect from 40-49 yards in the 2004 regular season, making 10 of 11 attempts. One of those came in a regular-season loss a month earlier at Heinz Field, a 43-yarder.

    Not this time.

    "Heinz Field did us a favor," Foote said.

    By contrast, Steelers kickers are 127 of 166 during the regular season at Heinz Field (76.5 percent), a conversion rate dragged down in the early years by Kris Brown (14 of 24 in 2001) and Todd Peterson (6 of 10 in 2002). But, since Reed replaced Peterson in the 2002 season, the conversion rate is 81.1 percent (107 of 132), which includes Suisham's 3 for 3 start this season.

    Suisham had never kicked in a regular-season game at Heinz Field until his Nov. 21 debut against the Oakland Raiders.

    "It's just this time of year, really, in this type of climate," said Suisham, who has converted 80.7 percent of his attempts (96 of 119) in a career that also included stints with the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. "It's part of kicking in the NFL this time of year. I can't speak for others guys, but, myself, whatever stadium I got to kick in is where I have to kick. I really try not to over-complicate my job."

    No misses this time

    In retrospect, Doug Brien could have spared the Steelers further disappointment by making one of those two botched field-goal attempts.

    He would have saved the Steelers from another deflating home loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game -- the same team that ended their Super Bowl hopes three years earlier at Heinz Field.

    Like the Jets, the Patriots used big plays -- an 87-yard interception return for touchdown by Rodney Harrison and a 60-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to Deion Branch -- to build a 24-3 halftime lead. Unlike the Jets, their kicker, Adam Vinatieri, did not miss any of his two field-goal attempts from 48 and 31 yards.

    "We should have lost," Ward said. "That's all I remember, we should have lost that game and we found a way to win. The field goal kicker had the worst day of his career."

    Seems like yesterday.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10353...#ixzz18ZnwnjZB

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