New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith walks off the field after the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Atlanta. The New York Jets won 30-28. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
It’s been two weeks since the Steelers took the field and lost their fourth consecutive game to open the 2013 campaign. Two weeks to stew, two weeks to think about what’s gone wrong and two week to prepare for the surprising 3-2 NY Jets.
The Steelers still say they think they are in the race, that they have a chance to win enough games and they still have the talent on the team to run off a win streak. Mike Tomlin says he’s going to turn it around.
After having two weeks off and facing a team coming off a short week, we’ll learn everything about this version of the black and gold and how much hear they have.
Here are the keys to a Steelers victory:
They can’t panic if they get down in the game. Losing is infectious and the Steelers need to stop the bleeding here. The last thing they can afford is to panic if they are losing and assume the game is over just because they haven’t won yet.
They can’t try to get the whole season back with this game. If they try to do too much they’ll fail to do anything at all. They need to play to their strengths and expose the Jets weaknesses
The defense must get after Geno Smith and force him into bad throws and perhaps even intercept a ball or two. They must instill fear in the rookie quarterback and prevent him from gaining any confidence at all.
LeVeon Bell must be able to run the ball against a very tenacious Jets defense. Ball control will be pivotal.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
Kelvin Beachum – He’s been given the nod to start at left tackle for the now benched Mike Adams. Will he step into the role and hold it or will he be another issue on the line?
Levi Brown- Sticking with the line, will the newly acquired Brown play a big role in the hopeful resurrection of the worst unit on the team? If so, what will that role be and how big will it be?
Cam Heyward-Keeping with the theme of the new changes, how will Cam Heyward step in as the new starter at left defensive end replacing Ziggy Hood?
The overall play of the team – Will they come out hungry or will they continue to look like one of the worst teams in the league. Having two weeks off to prep for this game means they better come out with ferocity and show they have some heart.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.