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Old 01-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default Big Question: Can Steelers sack Sanchez?

Big Question: Can Steelers sack Sanchez?
By James Walker
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/print?id=23620

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense do a better job in the rematch of pressuring New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez?

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers led the NFL in sacks this season with 48. But one of the few off weeks when they were nearly shut out in that category was Week 15, when they lost to the Jets.

Pressuring Jets QB Mark Sanchez will be crucial for Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.
Expect pressure to be a key component for Pittsburgh in the rematch with New York in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. The Steelers recorded just one sack against second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez in a 22-17 defeat in the first meeting.

Sanchez threw for only 170 yards and had a rushing touchdown. But he had great pass protection, throwing 29 times and only getting sacked once in addition to two quarterback hits.

"I don't think our pressures were as well as they could've been," said Pittsburgh linebacker James Farrior, who was the only Steeler to record a sack in the first meeting. "That's going to be the key to this game -- getting pressure on [Sanchez], forcing him in third-and-long situations and making him win the game."

In the regular season, Sanchez used a short passing game and got rid of the ball quickly to avoid Pittsburgh's blitz packages. It was similar to the approach the Jets' AFC East rival -- the New England Patriots -- used to defeat the Steelers in Week 10.

Without Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu (Achilles, calf) in the regular-season meeting, Pittsburgh's blitzes were more predictable. Look for Polamalu to help the Steelers mix up their pressures and potentially confuse Sanchez. Pittsburgh was effective in that regard last week against Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was sacked five times and threw for just 125 yards.

An early lead will be key for both teams. If the Jets score early, they would like to use a ball-control offense, which focuses heavily on their running game and allows Sanchez to make short, safe passes. If the Steelers get a sizable lead, Sanchez will be forced to drop back and try to win the game through the air, which plays right into Pittsburgh's blitzing defense.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Question: Can Steelers sack Sanchez?

I think we will be able to pressure Sanchez and sack him a couple of times, that Jets offensive line is a solid one but our D-line will get their opportunities to get him on the ground. The question is, will we be able to make him have to eat a sack or throw the ball away or will he be able to side step a defender & get the ball out to a receiver.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Question: Can Steelers sack Sanchez?

With the recent emergence of the "new Ziggy Hood" (the one that not only has been stuffing the run, but has been collapsing the pocket the last two or three games), a rested defense, and the playoff atmosphere (to which the Steelers are VERY accustomed to), the Steeler's pass rush will be nothing less than exemplary.

Keep in mind, if the Jets try to go dink and dunk against us-- Sanchez is NOT Tom Brady. He had SOME success last time doing it, against a Polamalu-less secondary, no less.

This time around, he'll have to play the dink and dunk game with Troy hunting around underneath looking to eat up some of his errant passes (that's most of them).

The Jets are no joke, but a lot of you are fooled by the way they beat the Pats. The Pats last Sunday looked like a team that was playing their first playoff game since the first round bye, and like our guys, they came out looking sleepy, fell behind, and were never able to recover.

The Steelers are charged up and rested after a HUGE win last weekend against Baltimore.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Question: Can Steelers sack Sanchez?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
With the recent emergence of the "new Ziggy Hood" (the one that not only has been stuffing the run, but has been collapsing the pocket the last two or three games), a rested defense, and the playoff atmosphere (to which the Steelers are VERY accustomed to), the Steeler's pass rush will be nothing less than exemplary.

Keep in mind, if the Jets try to go dink and dunk against us-- Sanchez is NOT Tom Brady. He had SOME success last time doing it, against a Polamalu-less secondary, no less.

This time around, he'll have to play the dink and dunk game with Troy hunting around underneath looking to eat up some of his errant passes (that's most of them).

The Jets are no joke, but a lot of you are fooled by the way they beat the Pats. The Pats last Sunday looked like a team that was playing their first playoff game since the first round bye, and like our guys, they came out looking sleepy, fell behind, and were never able to recover.

The Steelers are charged up and rested after a HUGE win last weekend against Baltimore.
Agree, the Patriots played tight that entire game & made mistake after mistake they were never able to overcome. Yeah, Sanchez will not have those open holes in the middle of the field to throw to against this defense. He will, as you alluded to, have to go the short passing game and maybe go throw out to the flats as well. Also I think one of those errant passes he has been throwing will wind up in one of guy's hands, Sanchez has been playing w/ fire on those throws, he bound to get burn by one of them.
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