Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gameday: New York Jets

MetLife Stadium
Radio: WDVE and other affiliates

Recommended Jets Blogs/Twitter

What to Watch For

1. Jets Defensive Line

The Jets defensive line has been the anchor of their defense so far this season. Muhammed Wilkerson, selected one pick before Cameron Heyward in 2011, has quietly emerged as a dominant force on their defensive line. The Jets under Rex Ryan show a variety of defensive fronts and are capable of lining up in a 3-4, 4-3 or Bear look. Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, one of their first round picks this year, have the athleticism, strength and position flexibility to cause problems from any alignment. The Jets get the majority of their pass rush from these two. Wilkerson leads the team with 4 sacks and Richardson has 2 1/2.

2. Steelers WRs vs Jets CBs

News came out this week that Antonio Cromartie might miss the game because of a knee injury he suffered during practice. It appears that Cromartie will play, but rookie Dee Milliner and top backup Kyle Wilson are both out. This gives the Steelers a clear advantage on everyone except for Cromartie. He will likely follow Antonio Brown around the field, which should mean a clear mismatch for Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. Markus Wheaton is out as he recovers from his broken finger, but Sanders and Cotchery have been successful at getting separation this year. Cromartie is a big physical corner that will likely press Brown and play tight on him close to the line. AB has the speed to get away from him downfield, but that will require the line to hold against the Jets defensive front for more than a few seconds.

3. Pressure Geno Smith

Through the first 4 games of the season, Geno Smith threw 8 interceptions. Last week against Atlanta, the Falcons decided to sit back on defense and try to play coverage (like the Steelers have done for most of this year) and Geno Smith picked them apart for 3 TDs and 0 INTs. As I'm sure you're aware, the Steelers have yet to record a turnover this season. They can't simply sit back and wait for a turnover to come to them. They have to be aggressive on defense and get after Geno Smith. They need to force him to rush throws. Jarvis Jones has gotten pressure but has yet to record a sack this season. The Steelers are going to need to get pressure and force Geno Smith into bad throws lest they suffer the same fate the Falcons did.

4. New Faces in New Places

The Steelers made some roster changes this past week. Cam Heyward surpassed Ziggy Hood at defensive end and will be starting, though with how much the D-line rotates, Ziggy will still see time. There was some disagreement this week whether the change was more due to Cam playing well or Ziggy playing poorly. Cam has definitely outplayed Ziggy this year, but Ziggy hasn't played terrible either. Personally, I think this move was based on Cam's play more than Ziggy's. Mike Adams was demoted down the depth chart after his terrible game against the Vikings. The Steelers traded for Levi Brown and as of Saturday it remained up in the air if Brown or Kelvin Beachum would get the start at left tackle. The Steelers also added safety Will Allen back to the squad after he was cut by the Cowboys and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester who was still available after being cut by the team in camp.

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