Good news, Steelers Nation: The Steelers didn’t lose last week.
The bad news: The Steelers are 2.5 games back of the rest of the AFC North, and are 2.5 games worse their next opponent, the New York Jets.
The Jets will be on a short week, but will be playing at home against a team that is 30th in points for and 23rd in points against.
Let’s see how this match-up stacks up.
Know Thine Enemy
The Jets are playing better now that they have gotten the human turnover (AKA Mark Sanchez) out of their center’s ass. QB Geno Smith isn’t exactly the second coming of Johnny Unitas, but at least he hasn’t face-planted any of his linemen’s taints yet.
The Jets are a middling team. They are 22nd in the league in points per game and 18th in points against. They are 8th in rushing yards and 2nd in rushing yards allowed. The Steelers, can only aspire to be as mediocre as the Jets. The Steelers are 32nd in rushing yards, and 10th against the run.
In other words, the Steelers are worse than the Jets in every major category on both sides of the ball, including turnovers forced and turnovers allowed.
Geno Smith is 14th in the league in passing yards and 13th in touchdown passes
Ben Roethlisberger, however, is 15th in passing yards and 23rd in touchdown passes.
You might be asking yourself if there is a silver lining to the hurricane sized clouds I’m pushing over the Three Rivers right now.
The answer to that question is no, there isn’t. The Jets aren’t much better than a middle-of-the-road team, but the Steelers are the bottom of the barrel. The Jets have not lost to a team that currently has a losing record, and there is no reason to believe the Steelers can change that trend, especially on the road.
Given the Steelers’ struggles to protect Big Ben, there isn’t a lot of hope the offensive line will be able to keep the Jets – who have the fifth most sacks in the league, led by DE Muhammad Wilkerson’s 4.0 sacks – off of Ben.
On the other side, Lamarr Woodley is leading the Steelers with 3.0 sacks, which is 3/4 of the total number of sacks the Steelers have produced. In the one statistical category that the Steelers are better than the Jets, the Steelers have allowed “only” 15.0 sacks while the Jets have allowed 18.0 on the year.
Maybe this is the week the Steelers can get their fifth or even sixth sack! That would put them only 15 behind the leading team in sacks, the Chiefs.
Wow, I don’t know where to start. The entire Steelers team is an area of concern.
They can’t run the ball. They can’t pass protect. They can’t stop the run and they can’t rush the passer. They can’t score and they can’t stop their opponents of scoring.
I hate sounding all doom and gloom, but there are just so many issues with this team that to list them all would require its own separate article, kind of like the one I wrote last Thursday.
See above section.
I want to say the Steelers have a real chance to break this losing streak. I want to say they have a chance to turn this season around starting this Sunday. I want to say they will induce several picks and produce several sacks.
I want to say all that stuff, but we all know there has been no evidence that any of that will take place.
I hate to say it, but I have a feeling the Steelers are going to be 0-5 the end of Sunday.
My prediction: Steelers 17 Jets 20