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Author Topic: AFC Title Game: NYJ @ PIT 1/22/11 6:30pm ET  (Read 7751 times)
pensodyssey
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« Reply #20 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 15:52 »

Make him win the game for them. Getting the early lead is really important. Getting a two-score lead in the first half, will, I believe, lead to a turnover-fest and a blowout. Problem is, we tend not to start too strong on offense. This is the game where that has to change.

Depends on what you mean by "tend" to not start strong.  Historically, yes.  Last week, and really the last few games of the regular season (adjustments for shit competition duly noted) we've gotten off to great starts.
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« Reply #21 on: Jan 19, 2011 at 17:53 »

We started last time by spotting them 7, and even as mediocre as our ST units are, they're vastly improved from previous years.  We gave up 1 KR all year; chances they hit again?  Chances they dominate field position like last time?  Chances they get another safety?  9 of 22 was STs for the NYJ.  Otherwise, 13 points on O, to our 17; TD and 2 FG them, 2 TD and FG us.  Take away the sloppy play, the bad ST holes we dug, and we outplayed them without Troy or Heat, almost somnambulistically.

Also, context: at the time of the game, we were 10-3 and on a 4-game win streak; Ravens were 9-4 and a game back; Jets were 9-4.  Steelers had to know that, at worst, they had a WC spot, while the Jets (and Ravens) were still battling the AFC hangers on (8-5 Jax, 8-5 SD, even 7-6 Miami) for a WC, sort of beating the dogs with a stick as it were.  Jets had just lost the Big Blowout to the Belicheats and the saggy follow-up to the Fins, and they were frankly desperate for a win.

Compare to now.  They've won their SB.  Reports of multiple Jets players partying their asses off into the wee hours.  Doubt the crew of playoff-tested Steelers viewed this past weekend as cause for all that; another day punching the timecard. 

Troy allows our defense to play better pretty much every way imaginable.  Heath gives us a guy not named Spaeth to target 9 times without assuming a drop, and unlike Spaeth he's an actual asset as a blocker.  I just have to think there's a big 43 play in this game somewhere, a disappointed Sanchez closeup; also would assume we'd see clutch catches by 83 absent on other drives.  Even one more successful drive than last time gives us a winning edge.  Game of inches, and all that.  Keep the chains moving, get 3, or 7, and don't puke it on STs, last game's revised score is more like 20-13 or 24-13, and that sounds a lot like what we might see this weekend.

Also, Tomlin's presser from Tuesday, on the official site, has him obviously prepared for the NYJ to pressure or to cover, which I was fretting about earlier.  Tomlin is the elusive fish, you think he's under the boat but he's slipped into some current that's carried him ahead of you.
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« Reply #22 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 08:46 »

We started last time by spotting them 7, and even as mediocre as our ST units are, they're vastly improved from previous years.  We gave up 1 KR all year; chances they hit again?  Chances they dominate field position like last time?  Chances they get another safety?  9 of 22 was STs for the NYJ.  Otherwise, 13 points on O, to our 17; TD and 2 FG them, 2 TD and FG us.  Take away the sloppy play, the bad ST holes we dug, and we outplayed them without Troy or Heat, almost somnambulistically.

Also, context: at the time of the game, we were 10-3 and on a 4-game win streak; Ravens were 9-4 and a game back; Jets were 9-4.  Steelers had to know that, at worst, they had a WC spot, while the Jets (and Ravens) were still battling the AFC hangers on (8-5 Jax, 8-5 SD, even 7-6 Miami) for a WC, sort of beating the dogs with a stick as it were.  Jets had just lost the Big Blowout to the Belicheats and the saggy follow-up to the Fins, and they were frankly desperate for a win.

Compare to now.  They've won their SB.  Reports of multiple Jets players partying their asses off into the wee hours.  Doubt the crew of playoff-tested Steelers viewed this past weekend as cause for all that; another day punching the timecard.  

Troy allows our defense to play better pretty much every way imaginable.  Heath gives us a guy not named Spaeth to target 9 times without assuming a drop, and unlike Spaeth he's an actual asset as a blocker.  I just have to think there's a big 43 play in this game somewhere, a disappointed Sanchez closeup; also would assume we'd see clutch catches by 83 absent on other drives.  Even one more successful drive than last time gives us a winning edge.  Game of inches, and all that.  Keep the chains moving, get 3, or 7, and don't puke it on STs, last game's revised score is more like 20-13 or 24-13, and that sounds a lot like what we might see this weekend.

Also, Tomlin's presser from Tuesday, on the official site, has him obviously prepared for the NYJ to pressure or to cover, which I was fretting about earlier.  Tomlin is the elusive fish, you think he's under the boat but he's slipped into some current that's carried him ahead of you.

Great post. Good point about how we sleepwalked against a team that needed a win desperately, played sloppy, outplayed them anyway, and were 10 yards away from winning when the gun sounded in spite of giving them 9 points for free.

There's every reason to believe we can win this game going away (which makes me nervous, but then again, so does anything).

One thing I love right now is how much media love the Jets are getting. they're a New York team, that's part of it, but they're an interesting story right now, too. The brash, bad ass coach; the upset win against New England; the way they beat the Patriots, shockingly making Brady look confused; the big names they've acquired. But the focus being on them is an advantage for us, I think. Their players can get caught in the hype and feel satisfied; our players are getting to work. I hope.

If we do win, and assuming that New England would have been a tough matchup for us, it's an irony that we might have Santonio Holmes to thank for getting us to the Super Bowl. Without his very difficult TD catch against New England, the Jets are held to a FG there and it's quite possible the Patriots could have found a way to win.
« Last Edit: Jan 20, 2011 at 08:48 by Manimal » Logged
pensodyssey
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« Reply #23 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 08:56 »

According to espn, Brad Smith had a limited practice today.
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 08:58 »

According to espn, Brad Smith had a limited practice today.

He'll be nothing more than a shabby kickoff returner.
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #25 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 09:09 »

According to espn, Brad Smith had a limited practice today.

He'll be nothing more than a shabby kickoff returner.

You know, um, it's whatever.
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« Reply #26 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 10:07 »


One thing I love right now is how much media love the Jets are getting. they're a New York team, that's part of it, but they're an interesting story right now, too. The brash, bad ass coach; the upset win against New England; the way they beat the Patriots, shockingly making Brady look confused; the big names they've acquired. But the focus being on them is an advantage for us, I think. Their players can get caught in the hype and feel satisfied; our players are getting to work. I hope.

It's kinda funny how they can talk themselves into a tizzy about it.

Early in the week, a lot of the talk was how tough a game it's going to be; winning a third road game is very difficult; Pittsburgh is a formidable foe, etc., etc.  Now, they're talkin' about this game like it's the easier of the three matchups they've had.  And, to make matters worse, a lot of the locals are eatin' this shit up.  They've gone from being cautiously optimistic, to strikingly confident.  Very surprising, considering these are Jets fans we're talking about. 

I suppose that if you talk about things long enough, you can talk yourselves into a win over pretty much anybody.

I still fully expect the Jets to come out flat and hopefully Pittsburgh jumps on 'em early and forces them to play catchup all evening.

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« Reply #27 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 10:41 »

This just in. 

I've run approximately 165,423 game simulations in my head and the final score will be some permutation of either 13 or 17 for the Jets and either 27 or 31 for the Steelers.

Jets 17
Steelers 31

Jets 13
Steelers 27

Jets 17
Steelers 27

There ya go.
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« Reply #28 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 16:00 »

Quote
I still fully expect the Jets to come out flat

It's hard to imagine that they won't come out flat.  The Steelers certainly would if they had just beaten the Patriots.  Unless we give them a huge play right from the get go--which we had BETTER not do again!--I anticipate that it will take a while for them to get rolling, if they ever do.  Again, my own mind is causing me to be nervous here.

Here's the thing, and I've said it since we were on the air last summer:
Everyone is talking about how Rex Ryan's buffoon act "works."  Look how well "it's working" for the Jets.  Yeah, it does work...at times.  You can play all those emotional cards and manipulate the system to a certain extent.  But the emotions wear off at some point.  The wave comes crashing down before you reach the shore most of the time. 

His schtick will eventually grow old.  Right now, everyone is all, "Man, I wish I played for Sexy Rexy."  I just don't believe that garbage lasts, and rarely does it win you a Super Bowl.

I'm also not buying all the man-love for the Jets by the Steelers.  They're playing Rex's tune for him.  Behind the scenes, I have to believe the team is focused, maybe even thinking, "We're gonna get those suckas for what they did to us last time.  Cause we can't stop a nose bleed sucka, but we can START one!"


Sorry, the local radio show had a segment yesterday:  Bart Scott or Clubber Lang?  Pretty funny...and not as easy as one might expect.
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« Reply #29 on: Jan 20, 2011 at 17:37 »

Quote
I still fully expect the Jets to come out flat

It's hard to imagine that they won't come out flat.  The Steelers certainly would if they had just beaten the Patriots.  Unless we give them a huge play right from the get go--which we had BETTER not do again!--I anticipate that it will take a while for them to get rolling, if they ever do.  Again, my own mind is causing me to be nervous here.

Here's the thing, and I've said it since we were on the air last summer:
Everyone is talking about how Rex Ryan's buffoon act "works."  Look how well "it's working" for the Jets.  Yeah, it does work...at times.  You can play all those emotional cards and manipulate the system to a certain extent.  But the emotions wear off at some point.  The wave comes crashing down before you reach the shore most of the time. 

His schtick will eventually grow old.  Right now, everyone is all, "Man, I wish I played for Sexy Rexy."  I just don't believe that garbage lasts, and rarely does it win you a Super Bowl.

I'm also not buying all the man-love for the Jets by the Steelers.  They're playing Rex's tune for him.  Behind the scenes, I have to believe the team is focused, maybe even thinking, "We're gonna get those suckas for what they did to us last time.  Cause we can't stop a nose bleed sucka, but we can START one!"


Sorry, the local radio show had a segment yesterday:  Bart Scott or Clubber Lang?  Pretty funny...and not as easy as one might expect.

I'm gonna go contrarian here.

I think they come out PUMPED, and their defense plays very solid early on, and the whole team feeds off that even as the offense sputters a bit.

The problem with WC teams that have big emotional games isn't the first 30, it's the final 30.  Say, as I posited in my playoff thread, that we play to a draw at the half.  Steelers think, no problem, it's what we do, we just keep chugging away, and if we have to put the ball in Ben's hands to win the game, fine.  Jets say, man, we came out all fired up and got what?  And if we have to trust Sanchez on a GW drive...?

I'll go one further and say I think Rex is a pretty decent coach. 

The Jets hype machine was almost unbearable this year.  They get to the AFCC in 2009, so expectations are sky high, the NY press is what it is, and you add in Hard Knocks, more FA acquisitions (LT, Cro, etc.) geared at spearing the nemesis (uh, check!), you have Rex being Rex, you have Footgate, you gots the media adoration looking for a hot team down the stretch (they were) and a new idol now that the king is dead (buh bye Goliath, hullo David)...  I get all that.  It's so much clatter than has nothing to do with the game.

It also has nothing to do with how Rex actually coaches.

He's been solid as DC with the Ravens, and now putting together a Jets D that's a top-5 unit, with a slight mid-season sag.  The FO rolled the dice on a franchise replacement for Favre after he did one of his multitudinous retirements, and they got Sanchez.  Is what it is.  Around that, they took a chance on Edwards (finally paying off) and Holmes (so far so good), to pump some life into the O.  Rex's job is to beat the Pats: 2 out of 3 ain't bad, sayeth Mr. Aday.  But the HC has to keep his team focused on a 16-game slog, and any number of teams that folded after a promising start prove that's not an easy haul.  Chargers, Broncos, etc.  Hell, even the 2009 Steelers hit the skids, and the unflappable Tomlin looked, well, flapped.  (Yes, there were injuries, but no, that doesn't excuse some of those fucking losses.)  So, after a good start, followed by a mild slump, Rex did whatever he needed to do to get the boys back on track.

The WC route ain't easy, as we know, and beating the Colts proved little.  Beating the Patriots showed some very good tactics, tactics that were rolled out the week before had Belichick actually dialed in.  So I don't think it's all bluster and bravado, although he knows that sells to media and players alike.  Rex is winning at a .625 clip, behind Tomlin (.672), Belichick (.633), but ahead of Payton and Reid (.613).  If you want to attribute that to the team he inherited, you credit Mangini more than I do.
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