The Steelers will go head-to-head with the New York Jets for the right to advance to Dallas for the Super Bowl.
For the Steelers, this will be the fifth time in 10 years they have made it to the AFC Championship Game. For the Jets, they are doing it for a second consecutive year.
Beating the Jets will not be easy. After all, they did beat the Steelers in Week 15, albeit without Troy Polamalu in the lineup.
The Jets are also on a bit of a hot streak after beating the league's golden boys, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, in consecutive weeks.
However, if the Steelers follow these seven keys, they will ground the Jets and be one step closer to acquiring Lombardi No. 7.
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Getting out to a fast start for the Steelers is a must. As of late, they have been doing just that, scoring touchdowns on the opening drive of their last two game.
That needs to continue heading into this game. It will give the offense momentum and confidence from the get-go.
Not only will it help the offense, it will help the defense as well. We all know the Jets are going to run the ball.
However, with an early deficit, they might switch gears a little and pass a bit more to try to catch up.
This plays right into the Steelers' hands, as it will be easier to stop the run and they can add more pressure on Mark Sanchez.
Another reason to start fast? It will get Heinz Field loud and pumping. The louder the fans are, the better.
If things go as planned, the Steelers will have a nice lead come the fourth quarter.
If that is so, that means it will be time to let the air out of the passing attack and start feeding the ground game more.
At this time, all the Steelers should care about is getting out of the game in one piece. All the stats, all of the style points shouldn't matter.
All they need to do is to stay focused, pound the Jets into submission and keeping coming after Sanchez on defense.
One little slip-up and they could be just like the Ravens.
This is an area the Steelers have struggled with. As of late, they have been getting better but there is still room for improvement.
For one thing, Arians needs to stop going to a four- or five-receiver spread on 3rd-and-short. At the most, have three receivers and a tight end on the field in that situation.
Controlling the clock will be crucial in this game. To do that, the Steelers have to convert on 3rd-and-shorts to keep the chains moving.
The longer the offense is on the field, the easier it will be for the defense to do their job.
There sure were a lot of these littering Heinz Field last Saturday. Most of them went against the Steelers. That has got to change Sunday.
Field position will mean everything in this game. The Steelers can't just give the Jets free yardage and expect to win. They have to make the Jets fight for every yard they get.
That means no diving on top of the pile when the play is over, Chris Kemoeatu. That means let your man go, special teams.
Which brings me to my next key...
The last time the Steelers and Jets met, Brad Smith returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. It proved to be one of the deciding factors—if not the deciding factor—in that agonizing defeat.
Here we are hours from the game and the Steelers special teams have gotten no better. They are more or less like the unit from 2009.
They are still allowing long returns by opposing teams and continue to hold on kickoffs and punts. The only difference is that they have given up only one touchdown instead of four.
This game needs to be different. The Steelers special teams need to play like the unit we were seeing up until Week 15. Instead of giving up long returns, make some long returns of their own.
Antonio Brown hasn't cracked a big one in quite some time. I would say give the job back to Emmanuel Sanders, but he had a difficult time holding on to the ball.
Shaun Suisham has been nothing but money since he became the new Steelers kicker. He did miss a 43-yard field goal last week, but made up for it with a 35-yarder later on.
In Week 15, the Steelers allowed the Jets to rush for a combined 106 yards, the most of any team all season long.
Granted, that came without Polamalu in the lineup, but he's playing Sunday so no excuses this time.
The running game is the heart and soul of the Jets offense. Without it, Mark Sanchez will be forced to win the game on his own, something he hasn't proved he can do yet.
The Steelers are the best in the league when it comes to stopping the run and fifth best all time. They need to prove that on Sunday.
Simply put: Stop the run, win the game.
One of the biggest problems the Steelers have is that they too often settle for field goals in the red zone. As of the past few games, the Steelers have been scoring touchdowns there.
That performance has to continue on Sunday. I can't stress it enough. Points will not be easy to come by, so if and when the Steelers get to the red zone, seven points better be going up on the scoreboard instead of three.
Succeed in the red zone, and the Steelers will be on their way to Dallas.