Monday, January 24, 2011

NFL 2010 AFC Championship Game Wrap Up

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh - Well, this game was a little different than I expected, but still close enough.  I said that Mendenhall will get a lot of carries, the Jets corners will have to cover all of the Steelers receivers, hat Heath Miller and Spaeth will have big games, that Brett Keisel and Harrison will be in Sanchez's back pocket, and finally that the Steelers would close out the Jets if they got out to a big lead. 

1.  Mendenhall has come a long way from the brash youngster who called out Ray Lewis in his first game against the Ravens (he ended that game with a broken collarbone or something after Lewis hit him).  He has now become the next name in line as the Steelers' starting running back.  Mendenhall had 27 carries for 121 yards, and 1 TD.  He also had 2 receptions for 32 yards.

2.  The Jets did a decent job covering everyone, but Big Ben was able to find 7 different receivers with Heath Miller leading the field with 2 catches for 38 yards.  Not your Don Coryell Chargers, but when the running game was as good as it was, you're really only passing for those longer 3rd down conversions. 

3.  Heath Miller (from above) and Matt Spaeth had good games, but it was more in the blocking and protecting of Big Ben.  Spaeth was only targeted once in the passing game but finished the game with no catches. 

4.  Brett Keisel and  Harrison spent a lot of time pressuring Sanchez and both ended the game with 7 tackles a piece.  Timmons and Farrior led the Steelers in tackles, 10 and 8 respectively, but as a whole this Steelers defense did their job.  They did let up at the end which could have cost them the game, but they were good enough for long enough. 

All in all the Jets' didn't play a bad game, they just started late. It was 24-3 at halftime and their defense didn't allow the Steelers to score in the second half.  They have to be kicking themselves for the first half that they played.  Had they be able to keep the Steelers to 17 or maybe even 20, this would have been a lot more tenuous down the stretch. 

Congrats to the Steelers for returning to the Superbowl with a chance to get number 7 for their organization.  It's been a tough year for the Steelers, but the good teams are able to bounce back.  Inquisitive Mind 2 - 0 for the week

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