We are going to break this down a little bit this week and do two posts, each with a focus of what we can watch for in our upcoming game:
New York Jets Pass Rush v Big Ben Roethlisberger
I don't know why, I just never feel comfortable predicting a win against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is coming off a nasty 31-19 loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Bronco's, a game in which Big Ben was under siege for the majority. The thing about Ben is he can avoid pressure and make escapes that Houdini would be proud of. Behind an offensive line that was struggling with injury, Ben was sacked 5 times and pressured countless other times. As good as he is at avoiding the sack, when you get pressured enough you are going to go down, and if you hold the ball for as long as Big Ben does, then you are going to get pressured.
Roethlisberger finished completing just over 50% of his passes (24/40) for two touchdowns and an interception, including a late game pick 6 that sealed the deal for the Broncos. Lets be completely fair, the Steelers lost offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert in the first half with a knee injury and offensive lineman Ramon Foster with an eye injury. However even with his offensive line in tact, he was still getting pressured.
A lot of people will point and say that the Bronco's are one hell of a defense, and I would 100% agree with that. They have a strong defensive line, a very good secondary that causes quarterbacks to hold on for longer (Coverage sacks) and a very decent linebacking core led by Von Miller. If only the New York Jets had a strong defensive line, a very good secondary that causes quarterbacks to hold on for longer (coverage sacks) and a very decent linebacking core led by...I don't know David Harris? Oh wait!
Now we didn't record a single sack against the Bills, however they spread their receivers out and they ask Fitzpatrick to take a 2-3 step drop and get rid of the ball. Even with the quaickest defense you are just not going to be able to sack the Quarterback. However against Big Ben who likes to hold onto the football, I'm confident we will see some sacks this Sunday and my money is on us seeing a fair few. We have a very talented defensive front and Coples is going to be chomping at the bit to get after the Quarterback. We have a very strong secondary that will cause extra delay in the release and we have an active linebacking core who will be coming on the blitz.
I think getting to Big Ben is always a key aspect of defeating the Steelers, the Bronco's were able to do it and if we can do it as well. I see no reason why we won't take home a victory.