Wayne Chrebet’s 16th blog of the season for newyorkjets.com:
Huge win on the road in a place that we’ve never won before. A lot of questions got answered from this win:
1. Can the Jets win on the road in a hostile environment?
2. Can they do it vs. a good team?
3. Can they bounce back after two tough losses?
4. Can Sanchez play in a pressure game, and can he do it in tough weather conditions?
5. Can Schottenheimer get the offense rolling like earlier in the year?
The answer is “yes” to all these questions.
Love the naked bootleg on Sanchez’s touchdown and the direct snap to Tomlinson. Pittsburgh didn’t give this game away. They played good football. The Jets earned this one — offense, defense, and special teams.
I sure hope that Brad Smith gets a chance to go to the Pro Bowl. I think he deserves it. What a way to start a game like this one. Another big factor was the punter, Steve Weatherford. He did a great job. His punt in the fourth quarter put the Steelers inside their 5-yard line. That enabled the Jets to get the safety on them, which was huge because then the Steelers had to get a touchdown instead of a field goal.
It looked like the old Jason Taylor on that safety. He looked like he got shot out of a cannon and he just ragdolled the running back. Great play.
The defense played a good game. It was nerve-wracking at the end but they made the plays when they needed to. It’s tough when you’re only rushing three guys and dropping eight into coverage. Giving a quarterback like Ben that much time is tough to stop. Whether you felt the Jets should have blitzed or played coverage doesn’t matter. The end result is what matters. Two plays on the 10-yard line with 9 seconds left. I’ve said it a couple of times this year. These are the games that we didn’t win in the past. These coaches and players are tough, they welcome the challenge. Of course everybody would have liked the defense to stop them before they got downfield but you have to admit, that last 9 seconds was exciting. Nailbiting, but exciting.
So the defense has had to make the play to the win the game on the last play as had the offense. You can’t put a value on having already been in that situation and succeeding going into the playoffs. Maybe I’m jumping the gun but all the Jets have to do is win one game or Jacksonville or the Colts need to lose one. I don’t care who those two teams are playing. You want to win your way into the playoffs and I believe they will.
Chicago would be a great place to do it this week. Another playoff-caliber team — they already clinched their division Monday night — and another hostile environment. Even though the Bears manhandled the Vikings, they are still a beatable team. Cutler is a pretty good quarterback but will throw his share of picks. He has a great arm. Their defense is stacked. The addition of Julius Peppers has made everybody on their defensive unit better. He draws a lot of attention and makes a ton of plays.
The key — the big key — to the game is controlling Devin Hester. Statistically he is the best return man to play the game. At any given time he can score. Punt, kickoff, and now he plays offense. Scary thought. I know Coach Westhoff will have something special for him.
I checked the weather for this week. Snow every day this week and low 20s Sunday. And the wind whips through that stadium. Going to be another hard-hitting game. A great one to watch.
To everybody who reads this blog, Happy Holidays to you and yours. I read and appreciate all your comments every week and just wanted to say I’m glad you like it and I’m looking forward to continuing it well into January. Go Jets!
Tags: Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Schottenheimer, Mark Sanchez, PIttsburgh Steelers, Steve Weatherford, Wayne Chrebet
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