For the second consecutive season, the New York Jets are in the AFC Championship game. They've had great success in the playoffs, beating both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Now, they go up against another great QB in Ben Roethlisberger.
Who will win this game?
Will the Jets beat another elite QB?
Can the Jets stop Rashard Mendenhall?
Can they score on the almighty Pittsburgh Steelers defense?
Lets take a look.
While Mark Sanchez isn't a huge yardage passer, he does have one trait that many NFL teams would like: He knows how to win in the playoffs.
He's got great wide receivers and they're much better than last years. He's got Braylon Edwards, who sometimes does drop crucial passes, can be a good deep threat WR and could give the Steelers corners some troubles.
Santonio Holmes doesn't have the same chemistry with Sanchez as he did when he played with Ben Roethlisberger on the Steelers. Holmes is a very quick receiver, and I believe him and Sanchez will develop into a great duo.
In my opinion, Jerricho Cotchery is still one of the best slot WR's in football. He's not Larry Fitzgerald, but can be a deciding factor. He's got some good WR's in front of him, and the Jets are more of a running team.
However, I'm not gonna give this entirely to the Jets. They had the 22nd ranked pass offense in football. The Steelers have a great pass defense and when they played the Jets in Week 15, Troy Polamalu didn't play, so him returning will just make it tougher.
Ben Roethlisberger is an elite QB, there's no denying it. He knows how to win in the playoffs and he's very tough to take down. Even with his horrid o-line, if my team were in the playoffs, and I could pick any QB in the NFL to be my guy. It would be Ben.
However, I give the Jets a HUGE advantage here because the Jets love to blitz. That's what Rex Ryan is like. They were sixth in the league in sacks and I don't think the Steelers have good enough WR's to get passed Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
Advantage: J-E-T-S, JETS JETS JETS
The Jets have one of the best running attacks in football. Shonn Greene and LaDanian Tomlinson are a very good duo who rushed for over 1,500 yards last season. Greene is a very good power and goal-line back. The Jets have one of the best run blocking lines in football.
But am I going to give this to the Jets? I'm actually not going too.
The Steelers had the best run stopping defense in football in 2010. They have a great defensive line and great linebackers in Farrior, Harrison, Woodley, and Timmons. Plus Polamalu in the backfield.
Ray Rice was shut down when they played the Ravens all three times and so was Willis McGahee.
Advantage: The Steelers will have more troubles against the Jets, but I'll still give it to them.
One thing I'm not too fond of is when it comes to the Steelers running the ball is that they have one good running back and not a good duo.
Like the Jets with Greene and Tomlinson, the Ravens with Rice and McGahee, the Chiefs with Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles, etc.
All the Steelers have is Rashard Mendenhall.
He's a great back, don't get me wrong, but there's no good duo and the Steelers are more of a passing team.
The Jets were third in the NFL in run defense so..
The Steelers don't have the best special teams. They released Jeff Reed during the season. They're dealing with a clutch and reliable Nick Folk. And Brad Smith did return a kickoff for a TD against them in Week 15.
Jets 20, Steelers 17