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Jets 3 storylines to watch

If the Jets want to snap a two-game skid, they’ll have to win in Pittsburgh for the first time in franchise history.

1 Will Sanchez step up against a good team?

Mark Sanchez has led the offense to just nine points and thrown four interceptions in the last two games. The?Jets’ second-year quarterback has just two wins over winning teams this season and can’t rely on the backfield against such a stout run defense.

“We’re going to have to take care of the football,”?he said. “It starts with me.”

2 Can Sanchez get rid of his happy feet?

No team needs its quarterback more this week than the Jets.

Sanchez has been indecisive in the pocket, in particular in split-second situations. Rex Ryan attributes it to happy feet and not settling in before making his throws. The QB threw off-balance for a good chunk of the Miami game last week.

3 Will it be a nice Holmes-coming?

Ex-Steeler Santonio Holmes has been a game-changer for the Jets, including several clutch grabs late in road games. Yet, Holmes must atone for a horrid drop last Sunday, when he let a sure touchdown slip through his fingers.

Pittsburgh has talked all year about how it’s replaced his production with Mike Wallace & Co. Now, Holmes has a chance to let the Steelers see what they’re missing.

Holmes admits to some confused feelings this week but that he will “let all the emotions out” on Sunday and that he is focused on a very good Pittsburgh defense. “They try to keep everything in front of them. They use the strength of their defensive line and their linebackers to get pressure on the quarterback and cause a lot of confusion with zone blitzes and things like that,” Holmes said. “That’s probably one of the biggest aspects that we have to focus on with that game.


Key matchups

Hines Ward vs. Antonio Cromartie
Ward is coming off a 115-yard performance last week, his fourth 100 yard game of the season. His biggest strength is extending drives in the second half.

“[He’s] a tough guy in that little guy I can’t stand,”?Jets coach Rex Ryan said.

Troy Polamalu v. Mark Sanchez


It has been three straight sub-par performances for Sanchez, including two straight rotten ones, as the Jets' quarterback looks to make like Rodman and rebound. Polamula had his fifth interception of the year last weekend against the Bengals and is still his dominant self in the secondary. Smells like a pick six. Advantage: Steelers

Jets v. Distractions

It’s daunting enough walking into Heinz Field on a two-game skid, but now the Jets have tripgate distracting them. How the Jets brush aside the distraction of their now suspended strength coach and his now infamous trip will determine their level of preparedness against one of the AFC’s top teams. Advantage: Distractions

 
 
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