Jets vs. Steelers: 3 things to watch

Geno Smith
Geno Smith needs to continue to limit his mistakes against the Steelers.
Credit: Getty Images

After a dramatic Monday night win at the Falcons, the Jets need to settle back into the season this Sunday when they face the 0-4 Steelers. It may not be a statement game, but it is a game the Jets need to win if they want keep up their surprisingly strong start to the season.

They cannot play down to the level of Pittsburgh and they need to continue to limit mistakes.

The Steelers will be hungry and looking to get into the win column for the first time this season. The Jets have lost their last two games against Pittsburgh, including the 2010 AFC Championship game. Now a game that looked like a sure “L” during the offseason will be there for the taking.

Three things to watch for …

1. Those 0-4 Steelers

It has been a horrible start to the season for the Steelers as they’ve done everything counter to their principles. The Steelers are usually a physical team who run the ball well but they are the second-worst rushing team in the league with just 58 yards per game.

They’re also No. 25 in the NFL in run defense. After a bye week to prepare for the Jets, the Steelers better not start out flat or the Jets could grind them into submission.

“I don’t think anything is different in terms of our approach or how we go about preparation,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “Obviously, there’s a sense of urgency associated with the position that we’re in — frustration and natural human thoughts and responses in that regard. But it doesn’t affect how we approach it and the process that we need to go through in order to be ready to play this week.”

2. It’s a trap!

Monday night’s win by the Jets was needed in order to make a statement that they can be a very good team. With the Patriots in Week 7, this Sunday is setting up to be a classic trap game against the winless Steelers. It would be easy to overlook Pittsburgh and chalk this one up as an easy win.

“There will be no letdown. If the Pittsburgh Steelers beat us, it’s because they beat us,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “There’s no other factor because our focus is strictly on them. For us, we have to improve by leaps and bounds as a football team. We know there are a lot of areas we can improve in. That’s where our focus is. We learn from what happened, some of the things we need to correct and you move forward to your next opponent. That’s where we’re at.”

3. What’s the rush?

A big part of the Jets’ success this year is predicated on getting to the quarterback and creating pressure in the backfield. Rookie Sheldon Richardson is off to a strong start with 2 1/2 sacks and Muhammad Wilkerson has been dominant off the edge with four sacks, including one Monday night, and a forced fumble.

“I feel like there’s always room for improvement. I feel like Monday was one of my best games that I put on tape, but I still have plenty more to play,” Wilkerson said. “It’s a long season. People say that I’m going to make the Pro Bowl and I appreciate the kind words, but at the end of the day I have to play each game and hopefully we’ll see at the end of the season.”

Ryan compared Wilkerson to longtime NFL veteran and former Jet Trevor Pryce as well as seven-time Pro Bowl selection Richard Seymour. Hefty praise.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…