Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets: Five Questions with the Enemy
Each week as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for their matchup we will go behind enemy lines to get the scoop on the team they’re facing with a member of the FanSided Network. Today we have Craig Hoffman, staff writer for The Jet Press, giving us the info on the New York Jets. He discusses the frustration level of Jets fans, the confidence is both Rex Ryan and Michael Vick, and even a prediction with score for Sunday’s game.
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Before he answered any questions he gave a disclaimer that even Steelers fans can relate to. Not that there are factions of fans who blow money on billboards or fly airplane banners calling for firings of anyone, but Steelers cans across the board can’t agree on much most of the time, particularly when it comes to how the team is run, and especially when the team is losing.
Before I answer the questions there is 1 constant among Jets fans and that is that they can’t agree on anything. There is a large group of fans that are logical, knowledgeable and able to look at the short and long term. Then there is another group that blows money on billboards to fire a general manager in his 2nd year.
We hear about the billboards and airplane banners but from a fan’s perspective, what’s the frustration level at the Jets dysfunction?
The frustration level is ridiculously high for everyone. I, personally, am extremely frustrated because this has been a perfect storm of poor play, poor coaching, bad luck at the worst possible times and injuries.
The Jets lost games on a timeout that shouldn’t have been awarded that nullified the game-tying touchdown versus Green Bay, an inadvertent whistle that blew dead a fumble return for a touchdown that would have been the difference against Chicago, and close games they should have pulled out versus Detroit and New England.
This isn’t a horrible team, it is a flawed team. The team is so depleted at cornerback after injuries to Dee Milliner, draft pick Dexter McDougle, Dimitri Patterson & now Darrin Walls that they are playing street free agents at both starting spots. This should have been addressed in free agency but even if it was the injuries would have put them in a similar situation.
Geno Smith didn’t take the next step in his development as the team and fans hoped and now the team is stuck with Michael Vick at quarterback, someone who has diminished skill and in my opinion doesn’t want to start.
If the Jets had average corner and quarterback play they would be close to .500 and that’s where the frustration comes from.
Do Jets fans have confidence in Rex Ryan?
Just about every Jet fan likes Rex Ryan but we also are coming to the realization that it is time for him to go. The team plays undisciplined at times and this year uninspired in a few games as well.
The game plans aren’t as good as in previous years as winning with lesser talent has been a hallmark of the Rex Ryan era but they can’t get out of their own way now. He keeps blitzing despite having a great defensive line and insists on putting pressure on a secondary that isn’t NFL-caliber. Since the 2010 AFC Championship Game loss to the Steelers. Ryan and the Jets are 23-34 with no playoff appearances. That isn’t a recipe for continued employment no matter how much we all like him.
What’s the confidence level of Mike Vick for the moment and the quarterback position going forward?
As I said earlier I have no faith in Michael Vick as he is inaccurate, fumble-prone and seemingly disinterested in playing. I think the right thing would be to let Geno Smith play, take the reins off and make absolutely certain that he won’t develop into the quarterback of the future. It’s only his 2nd year.
What’s the biggest strength of the Jets team right now?
The strength of the team is a very versatile, young defensive line. Muhammad Wilkerson is one of the best defensive linemen in the league with the ability to stop the run, occupy blockers, set the edge or rush the passer. Sheldon Richardson has improved his pass rush ability and probably has a higher ceiling than Wilkerson. Damon Harrison and Kenrick Ellis are brick walls that are hard to move against the run thus allowing linebackers David Harris and Demario Davis to roam around making plays.
The Jets also have a good set of skill position players. Chris Ivory is a violent runner that has surprising quickness, Percy Harvin is a Swiss army knife that makes plays all over the field, Eric Decker is a precise route-runner that knows how to get open against any corner, Jeremy Kerley knows how to find the open spot in a zone and make the big 3rd down catch and Jace Amaro is emerging as a prolific pass-catching tight end.
What’s your prediction with score for the game?
My prediction is a big Steeler victory. Ben Roethlisberger should be able to carve up the Jets secondary and the Pittsburgh blitz packages should slow down the Jets’ offense and force turnovers. Pittsburgh wins 38-14.
There you have it, Steeler Nation. Everything you need to know about the New York Jets leading up to Sunday’s matchup. What questions would you have asked?
Be sure to check out The Jet Press for my answers to Craig’s questions about the Steelers!
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!