TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers
New York Jets
steelers.jpg
jets.jpg
Quarterback
Winner The Steelers could slip off the radar because of their 0-4 start and perhaps teams will start to overlook them. That could help get this team back on track. Ben Roethlisberger has not been on top of his game as his 5-5 TD-interception ratio indicates, but he could get better with improved protection from his offensive line and a half-decent running game.
Geno Smith is getting valuable experience as a rookie quarterback and he has shown he can throw the ball well enough when he gets solid protection from his offensive line. He had his best game in Week Five, as he led the Jets to a come-from-behind win at Atlanta as he completed 16-of-20 passes for 199 yards with 3 TDs and no interceptions.
Offense
The Steelers’ inability to run the ball is a big problem psychologically. This team has always been defined by its physicality, but when running backs can’t make yards after contact, it weighs heavily on the team’s confidence. Antonio Brown has been a nice find as a wide receiver because of his speed and big-play ability, but the Steelers struggle to sustain drives.
Winner The Jets have performed better than expected on offense, but that’s still a long way from where they need to be. Bilal Powell has given the Jets a moderately productive running game even though he does not have breakaway ability. Jeremy Kerley showed toughness in making five tough catches against the Falcons. Stephen Hill is a slightly better than average receiver.
Defense
The Steelers have lost much of their ability to dominate on defense as they no longer intimidate their opponents. Troy Polamalu can still make plays, but he is not as consistent as he has been in the past. Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons is one of the team’s most dependable tacklers, while powerful LaMarr Woodley is their best pass rusher.
Winner The Jets have played with tremendous effort on the defensive side of the ball, which is just what you would expect from head coach Rex Ryan. Keep your eyes on unheralded Muhammad Wilkerson, who can rush the passer and cause havoc in the backfield. Linebacker David Harris is one of the Jets’ best tacklers and is almost always in the right position.
Special Teams
The Steelers have not been able to threaten on special teams with their returners. Placekicker Shaun Suisham has gotten off to a solid start by making all six of his FG attempts through the first four games. Zoltan Mesko has been disappointing since being signed at the end of training camp.
Winner The Jets play with effort on special teams and that could allow them to flip field position in their favor vs. the Steelers. Clyde Gates is a decent returner who could break a long kickoff return. Nick Folk does not have a big reputation, but he has been a solid kicker for the Jets.

The Winner Is

jets.jpg
Winner New York Jets
3 out of 4

The Jets have been playing excellent defense this year and the overall effort has been solid. However, Smith makes a ton of mistakes and his presence could be all the Steelers need to get in the win column.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At New Orleans Saints

    The Ravens are dependent on Joe Flacco to play his best football down the stretch if they are going to make a run at the AFC North title. Flacco is certainly capable of getting hot and putting big numbers up on the scoreboard.

  2. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At New York Giants

    The Cowboys have been one of the bigger surprises in the league this year, but their sharp start could go to waste if they can’t come through in games like this.

  3. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Washington Redskins At San Francisco 49ers

    The Redskins pulled off one of the most disappointing performances of the season as they were coming off a bye week and had the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs at FedEx Field and they couldn’t even stay close.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 877 other followers