The NFL’s Week 6 match-ups include a possible Super Bowl preview, winning teams taking on not-winning teams (losing teams sound so negative!), and teams struggling to find their footing and strike a balance.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Jets
|Win/Loss||YardsRush/Pass/Ttl||TD||Sacks||1St Downs||ToP||T/O Ratio|
The Pittsburgh Steelers have not performed as poorly as their numbers may indicate. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s offensive line has been somewhat lax in allowing the opposing defense access to him. Overall time of possession is far too low, not allowing Roethlisberger much in the way of on-field work to get the game going in the Steelers’ favor and keep it that way. The defense has been shored up and patched up, in hopes of gaining ground and allowing the offense more on-field time to put up points as they are known to do.
Rookie Geno Smith has been having a good year, proving to the league and New York Jets fans that he has what it takes to be considered a top quarterback in the NFL. His numbers are low at the moment but he has every opportunity to increase his standings with Mark Sanchez now out for the season after shoulder surgery. Smith has eight interceptions this season, but he has addressed many of his mistakes and turned things around. Against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football , (Jets 30-28) Smith completed 16/20 for 199 yards, and not one interception.
The Jets are ranked first against the rush, allowing a measly three yards per attempt this season, so Roethlisberger and the Steelers will have to take to the air in order to be a factor in the game. That may be the more attractive option, as the Jets are giving up 299 yards per game to the pass.
It appears this is the week the Steelers have their best chance to turn around the season. Based on pure numbers, if Smith and Company play like they did on Monday, the game is theirs. Based on experience, the Steelers have a better chance. That experience has not served them yet this season, but Sunday may see a shift. They are coming off a bye week, and Coach Mike Tomlin has put an end to locker room leisure time until a win can be claimed.
Perhaps this is an attempt to more sharply focus the Steelers attention, but this not a team resigned to ranking dead last in the division. The Steelers do not want to play for draft picks.
The Steelers’ team leaders are more experienced and the Jets are missing tight end Kellen Winslow, suspended for four weeks for an NFL substance abuse policy infraction. Winslow joins running back Mike Goodson as the second Jet to be suspended for violating the policy. Starting tight end Jeff Cumberland is active however, and the Jets have two players waiting in the wings to relieve and support him.
As for which team as the best chance to win, the pros and cons match up almost even. Flip a coin, close your eyes and call it in the air.
Written by: Brandi Tasby