Wow. That is all anyone can say about what the New York Jets did against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. If Gang Green can defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, the fans and critics will be saying that again.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a tough team that plays at a higher caliber of play than the Buffalo Bills. This should be a close game that will go down to the very end. Sunday could be a statement game for the New York Jets. Even though the Steelers will likely not be the best team they play in 2012, a win at Heinz Field would be huge for Rex Ryan and the gang.
For the first half of the Jets' schedule this season, they will have to face some tough teams – the Steelers are just one example. Pittsburgh still has a great defense that will present a big challenge for Mark Sanchez and the offensive line. Expect blitzing schemes that will cause the Jets' offensive line to play more strategically and give Sanchez less time to make decisions. Being able to provide great blocking that will allow Sanchez to have another big performance and Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell to run the ball effectively will show everyone that the offense is ready to compete with the league's best defenses.
On the other side of the ball, the defense will have to keep up with playmakers like Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown every play. Roethlisberger is well-known for making big plays out of nothing, and Wallace and Brown are speed demons that can be huge threats to the secondary. If the defense can rattle all three players and prevent them from making big plays, it will say a lot about the team and prepare them well for tougher challenges later in the season.
There are reasons critics still think highly of the Steelers. They have great talent with coaching that is just as good. Beating them would do a lot for the Jets. They would have a great amount of momentum, the team's confidence would skyrocket, and the league would get the message that they will not be a team to be taken lightly. It is only the second week of the NFL season, but a win on Sunday would do wonders for the Jets.
If the Jets emerge victorious, that would be a strong 2-0 start consisting of huge wins against AFC opponents, which will help them out when playoff races get heated. This may not seem to look like a must-win game since it is only the second game of the season, but it is very close to one.
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