This weekend’s AFC showdown between the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers has NFL fans all over the country buzzing… This is what playoff football is supposed to be! Coming from someone who lives in Detroit and watches the Lions every Sunday, it’s almost a breath of fresh air to see a matchup between 2 such talented teams.
So, while fans may be biting their nails and questioning the outcome of this weekend’s game, I’m going to make the answer easy for you: all you really need to do is look back 5 weeks.
It was in week 15 that the Jets came to Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers in their own stadium. In that game, Roethlisberger posted a passer rating that was almost 20 points lower than his season average. For whatever reason, the Jets had Big Ben all figured out, and came out with the W in the end.
So, when you look at the numbers going into Saturday’s game, there is one elephant in the room: DEFENSE. If teams played the way they looked on paper, Pitt would be heading to the Super bowl, no question about it, based on the numbers they kept their opponents to this season in yards allowed, points allowed, and turnovers. Their numbers aren’t good — they’re great. But if I’ve learned anything at all about sports in my entire life it’s that the teams that are good on paper are the ones that can disappoint the most.
Now the Jets may not look as good on paper, but did anyone else see Tom Brady last week? In all the years I’ve watched him play, I don’t think he has ever looked that out-of-place on a football field. And this is the guy who’s got MVP consideration.
Call me crazy, but if you can make Tom Brady look lost, there’s no doubt in my mind you can make Big Ben Roethlisberger look lost… and stranded on a deserted Island. Alone.
The Jets have the potential to play even better against the Steelers than they did against the Patriots. The success they had against them earlier this season will be a huge boost for them… The Jets are moving on, sorry Pittsburgh!