Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets Preview

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! NGSC Sports is where you come to find everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@PghSportsNation) brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a game story, Steelers keys to success, score prediction, game information, a detailed breakdown of each team, individual stats, team stats, and team injury reports. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!

Steelers still control their playoff destiny as they face the Jets

The days of having a fall back crutch are all but over. When the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) visit the New York Jets (5-9) this Sunday, they will be in control of their own playoff destiny. Win the last two games of the year and they are in as the AFC 6th seed. If the Steelers split their final two games, they will have to hope the Tennessee Titans lose when they face the Houston Texans next week in the regular season finale.

Perhaps the return of Juju Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald will help.

“I’m super excited,” Smith-Schuster said, “just because I haven’t been (playing) for a while. And now that I’m back, to be around my boys, the coaches, players, and just to be myself.”

The offense has struggled to score and be consistent ever since Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season in week two. Yet playing mistake free ball, combined with timely scoring and having one of the best defenses in the NFL has propelled the Steelers from a 1-4 start to the cusp of a playoff berth.

The Steelers will try to grind out the rushing attack despite abandoning it during the 2nd half last week vs Buffalo… a mistake that watched a 10-7 lead turn into a 17-10 loss, as Duck Hodges tossed four interceptions and also lost a fumble inside the Bills ten yard line by running an ill-timed wildcat play with players that were unfamiliar in running it.

“I don’t know about that,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in regards to a question that asked if his team abandoned the running game too quickly last week. “A little situation in the second half may have dictated a little bit more. At halftime, it was close to 50-50. I don’t know if it’s always about the number. You like to kick yourself sometimes and say maybe we should have run it more here, maybe we should have passed it a little bit more on first down — things like that.

“It goes back to efficiency. We have to be efficient when we do call the run and the pass and expect that we’ll obviously protect the ball as well.”

With James Coonner back healthy for a 2nd week in a row, perhaps the team will hand the ball off to him more than just eight times, as they did vs the Bills, despite Conner chewing up big chunks of yards vs the Bills.

“If that’s how the game goes, I’ll be ready for whatever,” Conner said. “I just execute the plays that they call.”

Fellow RB Jaylen Samuels knows the job calls for more than just running the ball.

“We have to find a way to get on the edges and attack the weak spots,” Samuels said. “When they’re sending pressure on third downs and we know it’s coming, we’ve got to pick it up and execute. That’s the main thing we have to do.”

QB Sam Darnold is getting better for the Jets, but he isn’t there just yet. If T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree continue to wreak havoc, then the defense should be able to cause a few turnovers on the day. Le’Veon Bell is a shell of his former self. The Jets have some talented wide-outs in Robbie Anderson and Jamison Crowder, but they have been inconsistent.

This team has endured plenty of hardships this season and has found ways to continue winning despite the adversity it has faced. It will be another close game that will keep you on the edge of your seat, but at the end of the day…

 

Prediction: Steelers 20 Jets 10

Pittsburgh’s Key’s to Success

Offense

  1. Juju Smith-Schuster… Line him up in the slot. Have James Washington and Dionate Johnson on the outside with their speed, and let Juju manipulate the middle where he is at his best.
  2. 17… That’s the minimum goal offensively for the Steelers to score. One touchdown in six of seven games isn’t gonna cut it.
  3. Duck Hodges… He needs to play smart and take his shots when opportunities arise. The Jets will likely stack the box and dare him to throw. With a full compliment of weapons available, Hodges should be able to hit a few deep shots and keep the Jets honest.
  4. Run the damn ball… James Conner ran well last week, yet he only was given eight chances! The Ravens pounded the ball successfully last week vs the Jets. Persistence pays off.

Defense

  1. Sam Darnold… Keep the pressure on Darnold, who is prone to turnovers.
  2. Get reacquainted with Le’Veon Bell… Nice talk aside, he’s the enemy now, and when he gets the ball, you lay the wood to him. Contain Bell and you keep this offense quiet.

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Game Information

Venue: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.

Field: Synthetic Turf

Game-time: Sunday, December 22nd, at 1:00 pm ET

TV: CBS (Local on KDKA-TV)

  • Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play) Dan Fouts (analyst) Evan Washburn (reporter)

Local radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE & WBGG 970 AM

  • Announcers: Rob King (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

Internet broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

Weather at kickoff: Sunny and 43. Winds WSW 5-10 MPH.

Vegas line: Pittsburgh -3.5

NFL Standings / NFL Scoreboard

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs NY Jets History

Series history: Began in 1970

Steelers are 20-5 overall vs Jets

  • At home: 10-1
  • On the road: 10-4
  • Postseason: 2-0
  • Streak: Steelers won the last game.
  • Last regular-season meeting: Steelers Win, 31-13 (Oct. 9, 2016)
  • Last postseason meeting: Steelers Win, 24-19 (Jan. 23, 2011) AFC Championship Game

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Pittsburgh Steelers

Overall record: 8-6

Head coach: Mike Tomlin (13th Season with Steelers)

  • Overall regular-season record: 133-72-1 (.647)
  • Playoff record: 8-7 (Qualified for playoffs 8 times)

2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Roster

Steelers Team Statistics

Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Schedule 

Last game: Bills 17 Steelers 10

 

Offense

Quarterbacks

Devlin Hodges*

The former Samford quarterback has shown no fear when pressed into the starting role. He’s only 3-0, already defeating a future HOF, and the last two Heisman and Overall #1 picks in the NFL Draft.

Passing yards: 884

  • TD Passes: 5 / Interceptions: 6
  • Sacks: 10

Yards rushing: 69

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Mason Rudolph

Yes, this is Rudolph’s first season being a starter with Big Ben out, but he has failed to grab the job by the reigns. Lack of confidence and bad pocket presence has hampered his game significantly.

Passing yards: 1,636

  • TD Passes: 12 / Interceptions: 9
  • Sacks: 14

Yards rushing: 43

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Running backs

James Conner*

Down year after a Pro Bowl season.

Yards rushing: 432

  • Rushing TD’s: 4

Receptions: 34

  • Yards receiving: 2451 / Receiving TD’s: 3

Benny Snell, Jr.

Takes over starting duties with Conner injured. Looking more confident each week. Gets better as the game goes on.

Yards rushing: 321

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 3

  • Yards receiving: 23 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Jaylen Samuels

An athletic player who can play several positions. Dangerous as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Yards rushing: 168

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 42

  • Yards receiving: 257 / Receiving TD’s: 1

Trey Edmunds

Good dual purpose back.

Yards rushing: 92

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 6

  • Yards receiving: 48 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Kerrith Whyte

Superb speed that takes defenses by surprise.

Yards rushing: 99

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 1

  • Yards receiving: 9 / Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Juju Smith-Schuster

Smith-Schuster has struggled this season without Roethlisberger at the helm. Hopeful to see flashes of his old self when he returns from a knee injury.

Receptions: 38

  • Receiving yards: 524 / Receiving TD’s: 3

Diontae Johnson*

Talented rookie who makes the most of every reception. Blessed with wicked moves in open space. Needs to be more consistent.

Receptions: 47

  • Receiving yards: 545 / Receiving TD’s: 4

James Washington*

He was ready to have a breakout season and establish himself as a big-time playmaker in the NFL. Has been the team’s best receiver with Juju out.

Receptions: 39

  • Receiving yards: 694 / Receiving TD’s: 3

Deon Cain

Former Clemson Tiger has speed and talent. May be a steal from the Colts.

Receptions: 3

  • Receiving yards: 62 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

Steelers deep threat, but has only one has catch.

Receptions: 3

  • Receiving yards: 21 / Receiving TD’s: 0

Amara Darboh

Receptions: 0

  • Receiving yards: 0 / Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Vance McDonald*

The Vanimal, when unleashed, is a sight to see. Unfortunately, he has not played up to expectations this season. Injuries have slowed him all year.

Receptions: 33

  • Receiving yards: 245
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Nate Vannett

The Ohio State product was acquired from the Seahawks earlier this season. Best used as a blocker.

Receptions: 12

  • Receiving yards: 110
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

Offensive line

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Left Guard: B.J. Finney/Ramon Foster

Center: Maurkice Pouncey

Right Guard: David DeCastro

Right Tackle: Matt Feiler/Zach Banner

 

Defense (Base 3-4)

Defensive end: Cam Heyward

Defensive tackle: Javon Hargrave/Dan McCullers

Defensive end: Tyson Alualu

Left outside linebacker: T.J. Watt

Left middle linebacker: Devin Bush/Mark Baron

Right middle linebacker: Vince Willams

Right outside linebacker: Bud Dupree

Cornerback: Joe Haden

Strong safety: Terrell Edmunds

Free safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Cornerback: Steven Nelson/Artie Burns

Nickle: Mike Hilton/Cameron Sutton

 

Special Teams

Placekicker

Chris Boswell

Extra points: 26-26

Field goals: 27-29

  • 0-19: 1-1 / 20-29: 10-10 / 30-39: 7-7 / 40-49:  8-9 / 50+:  1-2
  • Long: 51

Punter

Jordan Berry

Yards per punt: 45.9

 

Kickoff returners

Kerrith Whyte

Yards per kickoff return: 19.4

  • Return TD’s: 0

 

Punt returner

Diontae Johnson

Yards per kickoff return: 12.3

  • Return TD’s: 1

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New York Jets

Overall record: 5-9

Head coach: Adam Gase (1st season with Jets)

  • Overall regular-season record: 28-34 (.437) / 5-9 (.357) with Jets
  • Playoff record: 0-0 (Qualified for playoffs 0 times)

2019 NY Jets Team Roster

NY Jets Team Statistics

Last game: Ravens 42 Jets 21

 

Offense

Quarterbacks

Sam Darnold*

Seems to be rounding into form after a rough start. Next season may be the one he finally brings it all together.

Passing yards: 2,642

  • TD passes: 17
  • Interceptions: 12
  • Sacks: 29

Yards rushing: 61

  • Rushing TD’s: 2

 

Running backs

LeVeon Bell*

Not quite the Le’Veon we knew in Pittsburgh. Numbers and production are way down.

Yards rushing: 676

  • Rushing TD’s: 3

Receptions: 57

  • Yards receiving: 404
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Bilal Powell

  • Yards rushing: 199
  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 6

  • Yards receiving: 28
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Ty Montgomery

  • Yards rushing: 96
  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 12

  • Yards receiving: 89
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Robbie Anderson*

Leads the team with 729 yards receiving. Doing ok, but not as well as he expected to in 2019.

Receptions: 47

  • Receiving yards: 729
  • Receiving TD’s: 4

Jamison Crowder* 

Jets leader in receptions with 66 catches. 

Receptions: 66

  • Receiving yards: 717
  • Receiving TD’s: 5

Demaryius Thomas

Receptions: 36

  • Receiving yards: 433
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Vyncint Smith

Receptions: 11

  • Receiving yards: 157
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Braxton Berrios

Receptions: 5

  • Receiving yards: 104
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Tight Ends

Ryan Griffin*

Receptions: 34

  • Receiving yards: 320
  • Receiving TD’s: 5

*Denotes Starter

 

Defense (Base 3-4)

Pretty stout against the run, only allowing 88.8 yards per game on the ground. Giving up 24.5 points per game in 2019. LB Jordan Jenkins has seven sacks in 2019. Safety Jamal Adams is dangerous blitzing from the secondary and has 5.5 sacks so far.

Special Teams

Placekicker

Sam Ficken

Extra points: 21-24

FG: 14-20

  • 0-19: 0-0 / 20-29: 2-2 / 30-39: 5-5 / 40-49: 5-9 / 50+: 2-4
  • Long: 54

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Injury Report (12/20/19)

Pittsburgh

  • Out: None
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: None

NY Jets

  • Out: None
  • Doubtful: OL Tom Compton (Calf), WR Demaryius Thomas (Hamstring/Knee),
  • Questionable: S Jamal Adams (Ankle), WR Robby Anderson (Illness), DL Henry Anderson (Shoulder), OT Kelvin Beachum (Ankle), CB Arthur Maulet (Calf), DL Steve Mclendon (Knee), CB Brian Poole (Concussion/Ankle), RB Bilal Powell (Ankle), DL Quinnen Williams (neck)

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Offensive Stats

Total yards per game 

  • Pittsburgh: 299.1
  • NY Jets: 296.2

Passing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 207.6
  • NY Jets: 218.6

Rushing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 91.5
  • NY Jets: 77.6

Points per game

  • Pittsburgh: 19.2
  • NY Jets: 17.6

 

Defensive Stats

Total yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 307.4
  • NY Jets: 328.6

Passing yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 204.1
  • NY Jets: 239.9

Rushing yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 103.2
  • NY Jets: 88.8

Points allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 18.5
  • NY Jets: 24.5

Sacks

  • Pittsburgh: 49
  • NY Jets: 30

Interceptions

  • Pittsburgh: 19
  • NY Jets: 8

Fumbles recovered

  • Pittsburgh: 17
  • NY Jets: 7

Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

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