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Old 01-17-2011, 09:11 AM   #1
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Default N.F.L. Playoff Preview — Conference Championships

N.F.L. Playoff Preview — Conference Championships
By JUDY BATTISTA
http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...championships/

6. New York Jets @ 2. Pittsburgh Steelers
New York JetsPittsburgh Steelers

When these teams played in Week 15 at Heinz Field, the Jets came from behind, then held off a last-second Steelers drive, to win, 22-17. Until Sunday’s victory over the Patriots, the win in Pittsburgh was the Jets’ most complete game: with a balanced offensive attack, an error-free Mark Sanchez and a defense to keep their low-scoring offense in it. The Steelers were able to run and pass on the Jets, but Ben Roethlisberger was sacked three times. Still, the Steelers were within inches of winning on the final pass of the game.

Against the Patriots in the divisional game, the Jets were balanced. Sanchez settled down quickly and the Jets contained Tom Brady by playing back, keeping the offense in front of them and getting pressure without blitzing.

Pittsburgh was depleted in Week 15, without safety Troy Polamalu, defensive lineman Aaron Smith and tight end Heath Miller. Those are key cogs for the Steelers, who will probably want to run on the Jets again (they had 146 yards in the regular-season game). The Jets will want to run, too, but that’s a tough proposition if the Steelers’ defense is healthy. They are first in the league against the run, allowing only 62.8 yards a game. The Jets rushed for 106 yards in their first meeting.

Players to Watch: Few teams run successfully on the Steelers, so the game could wind up in Mark Sanchez’s hands. If Sanchez’s passes are as erratic here as they were against the Colts, the Steelers’ opportunistic defense could make him pay. He will have to be wary of Polamalu trolling the middle of the field. Sanchez and Braylon Edwards hooked up eight times in their last game against the Steelers, a game that proved Sanchez could play well in cold weather.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: N.F.L. Playoff Preview — Conference Championships

It's payback time JETS
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: N.F.L. Playoff Preview — Conference Championships

the no call on the pass interference call towards the end was a big play (on either Brown or Sanders...forget which one had their jersey grabbed at the goal line). Pitt should have had a TD
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