Now that we have that NFC Championship Game Pick out of the way, let's get to the next game.
New York Jets @ Pittsburgh - People are talking about how these two teams are somewhat identical, but I have to kindly disagree. The Steelers come into this game a little banged up (Polamalu and some of the offensive lineman) but basically in pretty good shape. Big Ben is on his game and that gives the Steelers the option of running or passing against you. I am a little concerned with the injuries to the O-line during the Ravens game, but they should be ok. Mendenhall will get lots of carries and we'll see how good the corners from the Jets really are as they battle (literally) Hines Ward. The more quick passes to give their receivers some space to run will loosen up that Jets defense and keep them guessing. Look for big games from Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth (in those double tight-end sets). On defense the Steelers will have their hands full with the resurgence of Shonn Greene and 'The Closer' in LT. Polamalu has to play in this game to take away anything in the middle of the field. I'm looking for Brett Keisel and James Harrison to be in Sanchez's back pocket. Nothing that much different from the regular season. If the Steelers get up on the Jets, they will definitely close them out, Mike Tomlin will accept nothing less. I wonder what he said to them at half time of the Ravens game.
The Jets come in as quiet as church mice this week, an extreme turnaround from the bravado prior to the Patriots game last week. Not sure if this really fits them. The Jets played a knock out drag'em game concentrating on the run last week, which is probably the best thing for them. Shonn Greene has become that power runner that the Jets need (and even had a little bit of speed), who also doesn't fumble the ball. LT comes in as a change of pace, but is dangerous as ever when given more carries. Mark Sanchez has struggled a bit with his play, but he has played well enough to actually help his team win. If he can turn back the page a few weeks, when he was scorching hot and playing extremely well, the Steelers will be in trouble. On defense the Jets will need to mix it up in an effort to confuse Big Ben. At times Big Ben holds on to the ball in order to escape a sack or make a big play and if the coverage can confuse him enough to allow the pass rush to get to him, they can create turnovers. The defensive line will sub often so look for strong play from the vets Jason Taylor and Trevor Price. Revis and Cromartie (and Eric Smith when the Steelers go 3 or 4 wide) will need to be big for the Jets to win this game. They are going to have to cover Mike Wallace, Ward, Randle El, and Sanders.
In the end, the Jets are a little more finesse than power on the offensive side of the ball and the Steelers are power on both sides of the ball. The Jets have played well to get to this point, but I think the dream ends this weekend. Winner - Steelers.