In order to start the season 2-0, the New York Jets will have to go into Heinz Field and take care of the football against a Pittsburgh Steelers squad that doesn't often beat itself. The offensive game plan should center on ball control and a strong running game, which should result in more Wildcat snaps for the always-controversial Tim Tebow.
One staple of recent successful Steelers teams has been their defensive prowess, especially when it comes to stuffing the run.
Even without All-Pro linebacker James Harrison, Pittsburgh showed no signs of letting up against opponents' rushing attacks on Sunday night, limiting Denver Broncos back Willis McGahee to a pedestrian 64 yards on 16 carries.
The problem was, free safety Ryan Clark was out of the lineup, and the opposing QB was Peyton Manning.
Although Sanchez was extremely impressive in Buffalo—save for one early interception—he is no Manning.
The Jets were able to run the ball just adequately enough to keep the Bills' secondary honest, but Shonn Greene won't be able to carry the rock 27 times per game without being gassed by season's end.
Greene is simply not a home run hitter, and must be spelled more often in order to be productive while taking the pounding his power running style demands.
Enter Tebow, who is also more of a power runner, but can also add big play wrinkles to literally throw a defense off balance.
There is no viable No. 2 option at running back for the Jets, and although Tebow's throwing ability is below average in comparison to other QBs, he is much more of a threat than other ball carriers to pop up and fling it to a wide-open receiver.
Because of the fact that Tebow shifted out as a slot receiver during last week's game, the Steelers will have to take time to prepare for something of that nature. New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano suddenly looks like a genius, and Tebow may still be considered a gimmick, but an effective one at that.
Interestingly enough, the Steelers franchise will only be two games removed from their stunning playoff loss at the hands of Tebow and the Broncos last season. Tebow threw for 316 yards in an overtime thriller, and took advantage of the Steelers crowding the box to stuff the run.
As much as Tebow is criticized for his throwing mechanics and short-range accuracy, he throws a much better deep ball than he is given credit for.
That long, wind-up delivery looks mechanically sound when he lets it fly long, and it's also worth noting that part of his low completion percentage was due to taking so many shots deep last year.
This may not be the best week for Tebow to improve on his disappointing rushing performance against the Bills, but it should be the week we see him unleash a pass or two.
Rookie wideout Stephen Hill had a shockingly impressive debut, catching two touchdowns and hauling in five of the six passes thrown his way. Santonio Holmes is also an obvious playmaking threat, and also has the ability to make things happen downfield.
After a much-maligned preseason, getting off to a 2-0 start would quiet a lot of Jets critics. To do that, they must keep the Steelers' complex defensive scheme off-balance. Tebow, as undefinable and hotly debated as he is, is the perfect changeup.
In his own strange way, Tebow will continue to help the Jets reach their ultimate goal: winning.