Two teams that are headed in completely different directions face off in the Meadowlands on Sunday afternoon. Pittsburgh has won 3 straight games and over the course of the last two weeks quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has put on an unprecedented performance. A week after throwing 6 touchdown passes against the Colts Roethlisberger completed 25-37 passes for 340 yards and yet another 6 touchdowns against the Ravens in their 43 -23 Sunday night football victory. Six touchdown passes in one game had never happened in consecutive weeks in NFL history. After a slow start the team finds themselves at 6-3 and look like a legitimate contender. While Roethlisberger shined the team struggled on the ground with Legarette Blount and Leveon Bell only getting 10 carries each for a combined 43 yards. Its tough to say if that was a byproduct of Roethlisberger’s prolific passing or not but the team will not be able to win games consistently without a more balanced rushing attack. Wide receiver Antonio Brown is creeping into the MVP discussion with a fantastic season, he caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Fellow wide receiver Martavis Bryant was inactive for the seasons first 6 weeks and now has 5 touchdowns in the last 3 games including two more last week. The defense has not been dominant but they have been productive and they have gotten incredible production out of veteran linebacker James Harrison who was dominant last week.
The Jets are on the verge of setting a franchise record for consecutive losses and have a quarterback coming to town who could not possibly be playing any better. There is rampant speculation that general manager John Idzik and/or head coach will be fired on Monday regardless of this games outcome. Now would be a really good time for the Jets defense to step up and attempt to save the team’s season. The unit has performed well statistically as they are 6th in the league allowing only 319 yards per game. However they have given up a league high 24 touchdown passes against only 1 interception. The Jets are hoping that new starting quarterback Michael Vick can invigorate the offense with his combination of veteran poise and ability to run. The Steelers with be without safety Troy Polamalu who sprained his knee last week and that should benefit the Jets offensive chances.
The Steelers are going to ride this wave Roethlisberger passing until a team stops it. He is having a fantastic season overall with a 68.3 completion percentage, has thrown 22 touchdown passes, and only 3 interceptions. They have also gotten a strong season from Bell at running back. His carries haven’t been as high lately as Roethlisberger has been passing at will, however he still has over 700 yards rushing, putting him on pace for a 1400+ yard season. Jet fans are a loyal bunch and will show up on Sunday pulling for their team, but if Pittsburgh can get an early 2 score lead don’t be surprised if the fans turn on the team quickly.
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