It\’s Sunday and the Pittsburgh Steelers look to even their record to 1-1 against the New York Jets later this evening at Heinz Field. Below are some loose thoughts that are running around in my head this morning.
Don\’t be surprised if linebacker Jason Worilds equals the snaps that Chris Carter gets in this game against the Jets. Worilds saw time at both outside linebacker spots last week as they ease him into game shape.
If he is out today, Troy Polamalu is a loss, but not one that the Steelers defense cant overcome against the Jets. Ryan Mundy is not as good in coverage and anticipation, but he is a willing run helper.
If things go like I think they will today, the Steelers will rush for 140 plus yards and Jonathan Dwyer will have over 90 of those yards.
Emmanuel Sanders should get some really good looks in this game as should tight end Heath Miller, because of the injuries the Jets have. It would not be surprising to see both end the day with a score and over 70 yards receiving for each.
Speaking of Miller, he and Leonard Pope have to do a better job in the run blocking department this week. Last week against the Broncos it was not good or consistent.
I really want to see some 21 personnel groupings used today that feature rookie running back Chris Rainey as the second back on the field along with Dwyer. That sets of formations and play calls that can really be used to create space.
The other 21 or 22 personnel group we will see some of today of course will include fullback Will Johnson. Johnson has shown he is reliable out of the backfield as a pass catching threat, so expect one or two throws his way in this game.
The Steelers defensive backs did a poor job against the Broncos tackling the catch and don\’t think that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and defensive backs coach Carnell Lake didn\’t let them know about it this week.
LeBeau will likely blitz Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez early in this game to see if he can rattle him and the blitzers must get home and at least force a quick throw or get a free hit.
The Steelers defensive front 7 was gassed late in the game against the Broncos last Sunday as I spotted several with their hands on their hips and getting blown off the snap on those late drives. Preventing long drives early on and getting off the field will help this week.
I think Cortez Allen will get an interception today and might wind up having a role in a second one as well.