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Back in Harness for (ulp) the Steelers

Posted by Randy Lange on November 11, 2007 – 9:09 pm

The Jets are arriving back in the area today and tonight for a return to practice and meetings Monday morning. As safety Kerry Rhodes said before departing for home and a four-day bye-week hiatus, "I’m going to try and come back refreshed."

Will the Green & White get a break from their break?

No, not a break. Not when their return-to-work opponent next Sunday is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In some ways, the Steelers looked vulnerable during their 31-28 comeback home win over the Cleveland Browns earlier today. They fell behind by 15 points in the second quarter. They gave up 90- and 100-yard kickoff returns to Josh Cribbs — you know Mike Westhoff and Leon Washington have been paying close attention to that.

But a lot of things looked the same as they have as the Steelers have assembled their 7-2 record, which will be either third-best or tied for second-best in the AFC, depending on how 7-1 Indianapolis fares tonight at San Diego.

The Black & Gold moved the ball well on the Browns. There was Willie Parker’s 105 rushing yards, Ben Roethlisberger’s 30-yard scramble TD (remember Redskin QB Jason Campbell’s 29-yard scamper a week ago?) and 159 rushing yards in all, not to mention 401 yards from scrimmage.

And on defense there was more of Pittsburgh LB James Harrison — after forcing three fumbles in the Steelers’ Monday night romp over Baltimore, Harrison came off his right side (which would be the Jets’ left side, led by T D’Brickashaw Ferguson) to force two more fumbles today, both on Jamal Lewis runs.

Perhaps worst of all was the 15-point come-from-behind victory, equaling the largest in the NFL this season.

"We had an opportunity to do something today that we hadn’t done," said rookie head coach Mike Tomlin, "and that was to show our mettle and come from behind and pull it out. We did it."

If the Steelers didn’t know they had a comeback team, they do now. The Jets already know how to lose a double-digit lead during the odd weeks of the schedule — they led by 10 over the Giants in Week 5, 13 over the Bengals in Week 7 and 14 over the Redskins in Week 9.

The Jets do have intangibles working in their favor. Jets fans all remember what happened in their team’s return to work after last year’s Week 9 bye, and so do the Patriots. If this year’s model is going to get things in order and make some noise this year, this is the time to do it.

This also should mark Kellen Clemens’ second start ahead of Chad Pennington, and as Clemens said early this past week before the intensive bye-week workouts: "I’m starting to develop more of a relationship with the first-string wide receivers. Anytime you can do that and improve in that area, it only helps further on down the line."

And as many are aware, Sunday at the Meadowlands will be Curtis Martin Day. No. 28 will come out of the West end zone tunnel one more time to the wild applause of the fans he cherishes.

Perhaps Curtis can provide the missing link that will push the Jets over the top against this week’s dangerous opponent. We’ll let you know how refreshed the Green & White seem for their return-to-work assignment, beginning with news stories and Radar entries as Monday’s first day back unfolds.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Back in Harness for (ulp) the Steelers”

  1. By Jeremy on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    It was so nice having the JETS on a bye week. I was in such a good mood all day long!! Now that the RAMS got a victory, are the JETS looking at second pick?? Atleast the JETS might have the chance of spoiling the PATS perfect season. Wouldn’t that be great to beat the PATS and break their streak. How sad that’s my only hope for this team! Oh, and FIRE SUTTON! WE NEED A GOOD D COORDINATOR!

  2. By Vaughn on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    This game is a big game from a defensive standpoint. Do the Jets have the ability to stop the run, or will they get run over again? Can the Jets offense run the ball effectively and score against the best defense in the NFL? Hopefully the Jets will have taken care of these issues over the bye week. Lets see that fire, GO JETS.

  3. By Ira on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, Don’t worry about the Steelers. We have them right were we want them. Jets Get the big upset. Remember you heard it hear 1st.

  4. By Brian on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    We don’t need to fire Sutton, we need to get rid of the 3-4 that we have proven over the past two years is not a fit with this personnel. New defense or new personnel, one sounds cheaper than the other.

  5. By Ira on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    They bounced back fine after the bye last year when they won up in New England. Given the week layoff and the coaches trying to do the best they can i know they will respond with their best effort and game of the season. They owe it to themselves, the Fans and Curtis. After the season they’ll get the proper personal to play their 3-4 scheme.

  6. By Charlie on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Things might get dicey in my household. My fiancee is a die hard steeler fan. Gettting married in steeler nation. If ever there would be an impetus for a rift in the relationship it may be Sunday. Go Jets. I don’t want a top 4 pick…..those never work out. Trade down. Stockpile. Why am I thinking draft in November?

  7. By dave h on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    my friends say being a jet fan makes me a glutton for punishment, I watched the nfl channel before the redskin game and they(the hosts) busted out laughing when asked who they’d pick, no its not easy these days being a jet fan. I may be critical at times But as long as Im here waiting for the good Lord to return I cant think of anything else Id rather be, (cept maybe wealthy)

  8. By SCJoe on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Pick Dorsey #1, go back to the 4/3, Dorsey and Robertson in the middle with Harris behind them would be light years ahead of where we are now, if Vilma is ok, and still with us, he would be a great fit outside.

  9. By Jake on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Ira, I hope U R correct, but I see Willie Parker running for about 200 and KC taking a beating. We have basically lost CP,JV and LC regardless of the system they were the leaders of this team. K Rhodes is another Tiki Barber! We have no leaders. I hope the 3 above mentioned land where they can have a chance to prosper. I have been a Jet fan since the 60s and I think this is worse than Kotite era!

  10. By AO KP on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    we need to work on impoving our running game, if not, then we need to start focusing on who were gonna with our first pick in the draft, because, if we lose to the dolphins in the next few games, which is a possibility….jets nation should be ashamed

  11. By Jake on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    I admit it, I was fooled as well with the tangini leadership but we are so far removed from being competitive. We can blame it on CP if we want but we have been so out=coached after half time it is pathetic. Mangini is over his head in a HC role. I think it is time for a house cleaning before they goof up our draft as well. It will only get worse KC is no more than K Boler or P Ramsey bet on it!!

  12. By Harrison on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    I don’t know why everyone is getting so bent out of shape… yes, our team has a terrible record but we are a much better football team than that record shows. I do not think Coach Mangini is over his head, it’s his SECOND SEASON!!! If anyone is a Mets fan they can recall Randolf’s first season when he screwed up a double shift in the late innings of a game that cost them… Mangini will be fine!

  13. By Bleed Green on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Jake, Clemens has shown some great potential, and last game it looked like he was the only one who showed up to play. He is young, but he will be a star, bet on it!! As for the coaching, I couldn’t agree with you any more. Our coaching is a major let down, and why do we keep using the 4-3 defense??? It makes it so easy for teams to run against us, and it puts no pressure on the QB.

  14. By bleed green on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    correction, 3-4.. it’s been a long day.

  15. By Jake on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Bleed Green,I hope you are right and I am wrong on KC!! I think you will agree that if the O-Line doesn’t improve we will never know!! Harrison I don’t understand how you think we are better than we have shown. Look at the stats we are in the bottom five on all of them and on the Willie comment,he was totally lost trying to stop the record setting free-fall this year. Both coaches lack passion!

  16. By Joe caruso on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    I think we need to make an offensive coordinator change and fast. I have been a jets Fan for 45 years and its hard to watch the play calling. The Buffalo game was a joke when Penny went out as a receiver and Jones was out of the game. Why did we go after him to have him watch ? Please help i live in Buffalo territory and its not easy being me.

  17. By NYJClemens11 on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Jets win 23-14 Rhodes 2 ints.

  18. By Drew on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    I think the bye week has some of my favorite Jet fans losing their minds. I hope KC has a huge day and TJ runs wild but to think the Steelers will sleep walk through an AFC game when the currently own the 2 seed is crazy. The Colts losing last night put a major damper on the Jet upset thought. I think it will be much of the same..inconsistent!! I would love to see it but looks like 1-9 to me.

  19. By Row on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    IMO Clemens is better then Romo. I feel our D will really step up, but we will lose because of arrogant offensive play calls. “I am very comfortable with Brian calling the signals”, Mangini replies. We all have a reason to knock someone’s helmet off, D will be MEAN. Nice seeing Keyshawn with Parcells. Why didn’t we keep them both? At 35 Keyshawn would still be an upgrade to WR. Steelers 16 Jets 6

  20. By Joe on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Ira – I love you, man! A total “glass is half full” guy all the way. But … the Jets are going to get punk-slapped by the Steelers. I bleed green but live in the Pittsburgh area now so saw Big Ben single-handedly destroy the Browns this past weekend. Hate to say it but the Jets are toast. What are we rooting for anyway? Let’s lose out and get the best draft pick possible!

  21. By Brandon on Nov 12, 2007 | Reply

    Being a Jets fan this year has been hard. Pennington got benched, the Jets still can’t win with Clemens, and they are about to get demolished by the Steelers. If we keep Clemens in we will lose which is good b/c a high draft pick is waiting. Putting Pennington in will only give us a chance to win which is pointless; the season is over!!! Chad Henne anyone?

  22. By Puffy on Nov 13, 2007 | Reply

    I played high school football against Thomas Jones, he is a fast, strong running back. He broke Terry Kirby’s Virginia Rushing Record for TD’s and yards. But, he and his offensive line is no match for the Pittsburgh Steelers Defense. I would like to see Jones do well, but not this week. Prediction: Steelers 30 J E T S 17.

  23. By Rod on Nov 13, 2007 | Reply

    I couldnt agree more with all the fans here saying how hard it is to be a Jets fan. I too feel we are a much better team than our record shows, but the reality is, we barely got our one win. And that was against the worst team in the NFL. I still belive in Mangini, but things have to turn around. Our coaching staff is joke. The teams owners are soft. We have never been and never will be a threat.

  24. By kaya on Nov 14, 2007 | Reply

    Are you kidding me Brandon? Chad Henne? Please, as a Jets fan I would take Kellen over Henne anytime in my life time.

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