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

Actor Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt in June…

By Jonathan Stempel(Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others in his limousine were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by…

National

Connected cars: Is AT&T leaving Verizon in its…

By Marina Lopes and Bernie WoodallWASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Verizon Communications, the No.1 U.S. wireless carrier known for its widespread coverage, is falling behind its biggest…

Local

Grand jury begins hearing evidence in Eric Garner…

A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday relating to the death of Eric Garner while in police custody in July. Garner, 43, of Staten Island,…

Local

Mayor announces plan for solar panels at city…

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the planned installation of 24 new solar panels at city schools on Monday morning. The panels, a $28 million investment,…

The Word

The Word: Amanda Bynes returns to form

You know who we haven't heard from in a while? Amanda Bynes. Well, that dry spell is over because Bynes is back! Her parents' conservatorship…

Going Out

Taste what Lower Manhattan is cooking at today's…

The Lower Manhattan food scene has changed a lot in three years, which you can taste first hand when the neighborhood's food festival returns. On…

Television

Review: 'Selfie' tries to coast on the charm…

"Selfie" offers cute leads and some good jokes, but focuses too much on a vague distaste for social media.

Movies

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Men, Women & Children' is…

Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" takes a hysterical and melodramatic look at disconnection in the digital age, turning strong actors into zombies.

MLB

Yankees 2014 report card

The Yankees put a bow on their worst season since 1992 Sunday at Fenway Park.

NFL

Ryan Quigley making a big impact for Jets…

Ryan Quigley, now in his second year as the Jets punter, had an exceptional afternoon with six punts for an average of 51.7 yards per punt.

NFL

3 positives to take from Jets loss to…

The Jets suffered another loss Sunday — 24-17 to the Lions — but the reason why it hurts so much for Jets fans is that…

MLB

Joe Girardi not confident David Robertson will return…

David Robertson was as seamless as anyone could be replacing Mariano Rivera as he converted 39 saves, with a 3.08 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings.

Education

How to ace your private school interview

Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve…

Education

5 questions parents should ask while visiting private…

It can be hard to know what to look for when searching for a new school for your child. Parents considering several different schools can…

Education

3 ways to save money on college application…

With the average high school student applying to 5 or 6 schools, hefty application and test score fees can add up quickly. We’ve compiled some…

Education

Nap rooms: The latest college campus trend

College is a time filled with new experiences (and lots of schoolwork), leaving little time for students to get a good night’s rest. University of…