12/19/19-Pittsburgh Steelers at NY Jets

By: Mike Pelaia 

The Steelers visit the NY Jets this week in a game that they must win to stay in the playoff mix.  It’s going to take 2 wins over the final two weeks or the Titans going 0-2 for the Steelers to hang on to the last playoff spot after the loss to Buffalo this past Sunday night.

The Steelers will need to win this game going back to basics.  First, they’ll need to play their Steel Curtain defense, getting after Sam Darnold and forcing him into errant throws and making poor decisions.  Make him “see ghosts” as he did against the Patriots.

With a rabid pass rush, led by defensive player of the year candidate TJ Watt and pro bowl snub Bud Dupree they should be able to light Darnold up.  After that, it’s ensuring Le’Veon Bell, they’re former teammate, doesn’t go off on them.  Bell hasn’t had a good season thus far but this would be the one game where he breaks out big. He can single handedly ruin the Steelers season and despite what he may say, despite what the Steelers locker room might say, he would love to do so. 

On offense, Randy Fichtner cannot throw Duck Hodges to the wolves, as he did last week.  Hodges will need to make some throws, sure, but he shouldn’t be throwing the football over 20 times in this game.  The ground game must be the focal point, to help control the clock and help set Hodges up for success. 

If James Conner is going to be the guy, then run him 20 times and let him control the pace of the game.  It’s going to be a close game, you can count on that, so the black and gold may as well control the clock and ideally the outcome in the process.

Since it will be close, and the offense can’t be counted on to do too much, special teams will certainly be a factor.  The return game with Diontae Johnson will need to help flip the field and you know Chris Boswell will need to continue his stellar 2019 season by making his kicks. 

In the end, if the Steelers can control the clock and force Darnold to be the guy that has to beat them, the black and gold should come out on top of this one 17-10.


One Comment on "12/19/19-Pittsburgh Steelers at NY Jets"

  1. Longarm on Sun, 22nd Dec 2019 10:30 am 

    I would love to see the Steelers win out and make it to the playoffs. The downside is they will not make it past round one and will all be disappointed.