Two teams known for their defense clash with revised offensive schemes as the Pittsburgh Steelers face the New York Jets Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's pick late in the fourth quarter resulted in Pittsburgh's 31-19 loss to the Denver Broncos last week.
The game begins at 4:25 p.m. EDT and will be shown by CBS, or you may watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Pittsburgh suffered the comeback of quarterback Peyton Manning and a 43-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Denver cornerback Tracey Porter in their 31-19 loss last week.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went 22-for-40 for 245 yards and two touchdowns, but his costly interception in the fourth quarter sealed the Steelers' second straight loss at Mile High. In a repeat from last season, the Pittsburgh offensive line gave up five sacks for a loss of 36 yards.
In what could be a thread throughout the season, the Steelers' banged-up running game rushed for only 75 yards, and usual starter Rashard Mendenhall is still recovering from his torn anterior cruciate ligament. Backs Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Rainey will have to step up Sunday in Mendehall's absence.
Receivers Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders must pick up any slack that the Pittsburgh running game leaves behind Sunday.
The Steelers defense also missed safety Ryan Clark, who had to sit out against Denver because he carries the sickle cell blood trait, a condition that can be very painful in high altitude regions like Denver.
Manning took advantage and went 19-for-26 for 245 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with receiver Demayrius Thomas for five catches and 110 yards.
Pittsburgh now meets a Jets offense that fired on all cylinders last week in their 48-28 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills last week.
After their first drive resulted in an interception, New York scored touchdowns on their next three drives and the defense added a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter for a 34-7 lead.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez found rookie receiver Stephen Hill twice for touchdowns and went 19-for-27 for 266 yards. Sanchez also rifled a 12-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jeremy Kerley, who ran a punt back 68 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
New York's defense also picked off Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick three times.
Quarterback Tim Tebow made his New York debut, but the Jets limited the special package they say they have created for him thanks to their sizeable lead. Tebow had five rushes for 11 yards.
The Jets did allow 14 points in the fourth quarter and 195 rushing yards throughout the game, but their lead was too great for the Bills to overcome.
New York cornerback Darrelle Revis is out Sunday after suffering a concussion against Buffalo. Pittsburgh will be down two of their top defenders, as defensive end James Harrison and Troy Polamalu are not expected to play Sunday.
Betting Odds: Pittsburgh is favored by 6 points.
Prediction: With Revis out the Jets defense might be mortal, and Roethlisberger can find his dangerous trio of receivers. Sanchez has never shined when he's faced intense pressure in the pocket, but the Steelers will miss two of their best pass rushers. Pittsburgh should pull out a gutsy victory.
Predicted Score: Pittsburgh 30, New York 23
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top Ten Most Peaceful Countries in the World in 2013 [SLIDESHOW]
- Kim Kardashian Baby Girl: Suggested Ways Kanye West’s New Born Can Earn Money to Keep Up with the Kardashians [PHOTOS]
- 'Game of Thrones'-like Film, 'The Queen of the Tearling,' Casts Emma Watson as Lead Star and Exec Producer [PHOTOS]
- Asus Transformer Infinity Pad, Sony Vaio Duo, Toshiba Satellite, A Look at Intel's Haswell 4th Generation Ultrabooks and Notebooks [Photos]