New series we’ll do each Sunday morning before kickoff. A prediction of what will happen if the Pittsburgh Steelers win, if they lose, and my final score prediction. My outlook on this afternoon’s game against the New York Jets.
The Steelers Will Win If…
– They get chunk plays through the air. The Jets’ secondary is at Lindsay Lohan-2007 levels of a hot mess, allowing the most 40+ yard completions this season by considerable margin. The Steelers have the second most. Even with Chris Hubbard starting at right tackle, the Steelers won’t be deterred from taking vertical shots. A couple deep completions to Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, and company and the Steelers will win.
– Their perimeter run game is effective. Running up the middle on the Jets is going to be tough and overall, they’re the second best run defense in the league. That’s going to limit the Steelers, even with Le’Veon Bell, and their best chance for success will be on the outside. Hopefully a good dose of pin and pull schemes with the goal of reaching the edge and outrunning the great front four the Jets have.
– The secondary stops the surge of jump balls. I can’t be certain the Jets are going to pepper the Steelers with fade routes, but given their history, the lack of production, and great size the offense has, it seems likely. That’ll be difficult to do against a top four receiving group who are all well over six feet tall. Ross Cockrell is going to have to be on his A game and Artie Burns will have to use his length and be strong at catch points.
The Steelers Will Lose If…
– They get passive defensively. The Jets employ a similar gameplan to the Washington Redskins, yearning to spread defenses out with empty sets and prevent them from disguising coverages and blitzes. It’s understandable that this won’t be Keith Butler’s most aggressive game, I think he’ll be even more toned down than last week’s win, but I don’t want to see him be so introverted like he was Week One. There’s a balance to be found.
– The Jets’ front four gets to work. This is pretty obvious. It’s the bet thing this team has to offer. Running the ball will be tough and they like to stunt and create havoc while still dropping seven into coverage. There’s the potential for Ben to be sacked five times today, especially if the offense gets one-dimensional.
– Steelers beating Steelers. Obviously, there’s a risk for that every week but this is a game where the Steelers are the better team on paper even with the Encyclopedia-list of injuries they’re dealing with. But penalties, especially interference/holding calls against the Jets’ big receivers, is the best way to stall your own drives and extend theirs.
Season Prediction Record
1-3 (I’m the worst)