Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets: Who Has the Advantage?

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Steelers vs. Jets: Who Has the Advantage?

Steelers-Jets
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Week 6 of the 2013 NFL season, many thought that the current roles of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets would be reversed. Everything for the Steelers (0-4) has gone wrong so far this year, while the fortunes of the Jets (3-2) are much better than most expected.

Pittsburgh has struggled in just about every part of the game thus far. They are in the bottom half of virtually every statistical category in offense. While they are 10th in the league in overall defense, it is a far cry from what the NFL is used to seeing from the black and gold.

As for the Jets, they have earned three huge victories, with their most recent being a comeback win on the big stage of Monday Night Football. Furthermore, they are tied for second in the AFC East, only one game behind the division-leading New England Patriots.

The Steelers and the Jets have split their last four meetings. The most meaningful of the four was the AFC Championship Game of the 2010 season, which Pittsburgh won 24-19. The Steelers also won the most resent battle, which was last regular season at Heinz Field. New York did win the regular-season battle in 2010, as well as the one three years prior.

On paper, this seems to be a one-sided matchup, and after looking things over myself, I would have to agree. One team definitely looks to be more superior to the other. Let’s take a deeper look to see which team will have the advantage this Sunday.

Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+

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Steelers Pass Offense vs Jets Pass Defense

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Any other time, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would be considered a major threat against this Jets defense. Even though Roethlisberger is capable of putting up big numbers through the air, his offensive line has not put much faith in anyone in Steeler Nation. Even with the change at left tackle, Pittsburgh will still be overwhelmed with New York’s defense that is fifth in the league in sacks.

Advantage: Jets

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Steelers Run Offense vs Jets Run Defense

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This past Monday night, the Jets swallowed up the running game of the Atlanta Falcons. Even with Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell potentially breathing new life into Pittsburgh’s running game (which is dead last in the NFL), Gang Green’s second-ranked run defense should dominate without a problem.

Advantage: Jets

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Jets Pass Offense vs Steelers Pass Defense

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Although Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith didn’t commit any turnovers last week, he still has thrown eight interceptions on the season so far. Pittsburgh’s fifth-ranked pass defense is one of the few bright spots for the Steelers this year. I would mark this as a big-time advantage for the black and gold if Pittsburgh had any takeaways this year. However, even after acknowledging that, I still will give them the very slight edge.

Advantage: Steelers

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Jets Run Offense vs Steelers Run Defense

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

New York is averaging 122.0 yards on the ground, while Pittsburgh has surrendered over 100 yards to every team that they have face so far this season. The Jets have a running back by committee that seems to be working for them. The Steelers have yet to find a way to fix the holes in their 25th ranked run defense.

Advantage: Jets

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Special Teams

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Jets’ kicking and punting games have been pretty consistent this year. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Steelers. Kicker Shaun Suisham is perfect on the year, but punter Zoltan Mesko has failed to assist in trying to win the battle of field position so far this season.

Advantage: Jets

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Coaching

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets head coach Rex Ryan has found ways to keep his defense as one of the best in the NFL despite losing arguably the best defensive player in the league in Darrelle Revis. Furthermore, he and the rest of his coaching staff has had success with a rookie quarterback. Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin has made some bold moves on Pittsburgh’s roster in efforts to turn things around, and is still trying to find a way to get things back on track.

Advantage: Jets


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