One of the biggest keys for the Steelers in this game is how well they keep their cool. There is little, if any, doubt that this game will be chippy right from the start. With so much on the line, and being in a hostile environment the Jets will not hesitate to put in some cheap shots and questionable hits after the play is over. The fact that they are trash talkers alone is enough to realize they will try assert some type of physical dominance over the Steelers on Sunday Night at Heinz Field.
The Jets are and up and coming, overall young team with a lot to prove in their minds. Combine that with big road wins over the Colts and Patriots along with a general “trash talking” mentality that starts with Rex Ryan, and you can see where this game is headed. The officials will not shy away from tossing around personal fouls like Halloween candy in this match up. They will be on the look out for any extra curricular activities, and given their propensity for tossing them our way don’t be surprised to see more than a few Sunday night. The Steelers already can’t catch a break with blatant holding calls against Harrison or Woodley, so they will need to be on their guard with retaliation attempts regardless of what is done to them first.
The old adage is as true as ever in today’s NFL, it’s not the initial act that gets caught, it’s the retaliation. As wrong as that is, it happens every weekend in the NFL. The Steelers’ will have to bite their tongue’s and resist the urge on many occasions tomorrow night because if they don’t it could cost them dearly. A personal foul at the wrong time can mean the difference between getting off the field and a key Field Goal allowed in a close game. How much the officials with let slide with that infamous “no calls” attitude remains to be seen but you can bet they’ll be on their guard to keep control of this game. Cooler heads must prevail for the Steelers, the target the NFL has had on their backs could not be any more noticeable going into this game. They have defied the odds just getting to this point, don’t expect it to get easy now.
Enter one Chris “big juicy” Kemoeatu, who dives into the pile after Rashard Mendenhall scores the go ahead Touchdown with 1:39 to go in the Divisional Round vs. the Ravens. Steelers kicker Sean Suisham is forced to kick from his own 15, setting up the Ravens with good field position. Thankfully the defense didn’t allow Flacco the opportunity to come back, but suffice it say dumb penalties like that can a killer. Kemo is known for having a hot head, as are other Steeler lineman. I personally think that’s a good trait to have, you like to have an Offensive Line with a mean streak about them. It needs to be controlled aggression though, you don’t want to fight uphill any more than you have too in a game like this.
Tomlin and Lebeau know what a game like this is all about, the Steelers are no stranger to playing in AFC Championship Games. This will be their 15th appearance in such a contest, and recently with 2 more Lombardi’s added to the trophy case they know what it takes to win. If the Steelers play their game, and execute the way they are capable of there is no doubt they can win. Keep your composure and don’t give the game away. Don’t be “that” guy this weekend.
BlitzburghRockCity – SteelerAddicts.com