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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Pittsburgh, PA (Dec 19) – The New York Jets came into this afternoon’s game needing a win. They had lost two games in a row and suddenly their bluster was gone, they also are dealing with controversy. They won today’s game over the Steelers by the score of 22-17.
The latest controversy to hit the team was by Sal Alosi the strength and conditioning coach who tripped a Miami player during last week’s game. The first thing to happen to him was that he was fined and suspended the rest of the season including the playoffs. It had become a huge story and then the Jets suspended him indefinitely but the story continued because just about everyone thought the Jets were covering up something.
Mark Sanchez was 19-29 for 170 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Those are not great numbers but the important thing was that he did not turn the ball over. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 49 yards on 11 carries and Shonn Greene had 40 yards on 12 carries. Braylon Edwards had a big game with eight receptions for 100 yards. Santonio Holmes had six catches for 40 yards and Dustin Keller had three for 19 yards. Nick Folk was 2-2 on field goals.
The Jets delivered a near perfect performance against a team they weren’t supposed to beat especially in Pittsburgh where it is very tough to win. The Jets controlled the line of scrimmage and fed off their quarterback who had been struggling the last couple of weeks.
The Jets made the defensive stops in the final three minutes, they got a safety, and they stopped a last minute drive by Pittsburgh. The Jets are now 10-4 and can clinch a spot in the postseason by winning just one of their final two games. Head coach Rex Ryan had this to say, “I told our guys to put a little mark here, we may be back in the playoffs. We don’t need anybody’s help. We’ll take care of it ourselves. We’re going to make it one way or another.”
The Jets had three sacks in this game and they limited the big plays, there was one on the final drive a third and 24 for Pittsburgh. The Steelers got to the Jets 10 yard line with 10 seconds to go but ran out of time.
Sanchez actually made the biggest plays of the game with his feet. He converted a fourth down with a sneak, he kept a drive alive with a rollout pass, and he scored the Jets first offensive touchdown this month with a seven-yard bootleg that helped turn the game around for the Jets.
The Jets are back for now, they like to talk about the naysayer’s and prove them wrong, they proved that they are tough and resilient but the bottom line is all that matters for them is winning and losing. If the Jets do get into the playoffs, which are very close to a certainty, then they have a chance to reach their ultimate goal. They will need to win games on the road to get to the Super Bowl but they will have a chance to do it.
The Jets play the Chicago Bears in Chicago next week and then finish the season at home against the Buffalo Bills.