The Pittsburgh Steelers enter week five with tremendous moment. Demolishing the Kansas City to 43-14 last weekend, the Steelers turn their attention to the 1-3 New York Jets, who have struggled mightily in their first four weeks.
Since the 1970 season, the Steelers have played against the New York Jets a total of 24 times. Their first meeting in 1970 resulted in a 21-17 win, but their latest meeting was a 20-13 loss in 2014. Michael Vick’s ability to lead the Jets’ offense against the Steelers that year may have had a hand in the Steelers signing him in 2015 when they were in need of veteran quarterback depth.
Week four marked Le’Veon Bell‘s return from suspension, but Ben Roethlisberger‘s five touchdown passes stole the show. Even with talented defensive back, Marcus Peters, in the secondary, Ben connected with Antonio Brown on two different occasions for touchdowns. Bell was no pedestrian in the backfield, rushing for 144 yards and catching for another 35.
Without starters Ryan Shazier and Robert Golden, the Steelers’ defense held the Chief’s defense scoreless until the fourth quarter. An early interception by Jarvis Jones put the Steelers’ offense in position to score, marking his first big play of the season. Cam Heyward led the Steelers’ pass rushing charge, racking up three sacks on quarterback Alex Smith.
For the Jets, their past two games have been horrific. Starting quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has thrown one touchdown and nine interceptions in a two-week span. With the Steelers’ new found pass rush, they could pressure Fitzpatrick into making unwise decisions. Rattling the Jets’ quarterback early will give the Steelers’ the head start that helped them win in week four.
Antonio Brown vs. Buster Skrine
With Darelle Revis doubtful due to a hamstring injury, it is possible he is inactive on Sunday. Even if he plays, the Jets would be wise to have the healthier of their two starting corners to cover Brown. Before the hamstring injury, Revis looked nothing like the former cornerback known for shutting down wide receivers. Buster Skrine is potentially their best bet in “stopping” Brown.
Skrine isn’t without his own injuries, either. He was listed as questionable last weekend with a knee injury, and there’s a chance it isn’t completely healed. Brown and Skrine are not strangers by any means. Before moving to New York, Skrine was a member of the Cleveland Browns’ secondary. Having played against him for multiple seasons will aid in to an extend, but may find himself overmatched by the best receiver in football.
With the lack of talented depth in the Jets’ secondary, Brown should make short work of any opposition that the Jets send his way. He caught two touchdown passes against Kansas City’s respectable secondary, and should produce a one-hundred yard, multiple touchdown game against New York’s porous defenders.
Cam Heyward vs. James Carpenter
The Steelers’ pass rush was non-existent for three weeks in Pittsburgh. It was a noticeable frustration to those who have excelled at bringing down the quarterback, especially Cam Heyward. Heyward released his frustrations on the Chiefs’ offense, tallying three sacks. The Steelers’ defensive front must continue to put pressure on the quarterback, and it begins with Heyward.
Heyward’s biggest opposition will be James Carpenter, perhaps the most talented member of the Jet’s offensive line. A former first-round pick in 2011, Carpenter began his career with the Seattle Seahawks. After earning a championship in Seattle, he moved to New York to help their struggling offensive line. Through four weeks he has been penalized once for holding, and has not given up a sack.
With the Jets’ offense in disarray, Heyward has a chance to improve his sack count after failing to register any in the first three sacks. With three already under his belt, Heyward can put himself in a position to surpass the seven sacks he totaled in 2015.
Anthony Chickillo records the first sack of his career in the second quarter
Artie Burns gets a heavy workload on defense, defending multiple passes and recording the first interception of his career
Ben Roethlisberger throws for five touchdowns for a second straight week, exploiting the weakness of the Jets’ secondary.
The Steelers continue to prove that are a legitimate threat in the NFL, handing the Jets their fourth loss of the season. Pittsburgh prevails over New York, winning 38-16