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It’s always important to learn from the past. Dan looks back at the first Jets-Pitt game, and things the Jets can learn from that encounter . . .
This was the game that the Jets simplified Sanchez’s throws and went back to “ground and pound.” They stopped trying to make Sanchez into Phillip Rivers, and cut down on the bells and whistles.
They ran a ton, and went with one or two read passes. It worked In Pittsburgh, and they have successfully used this formula ever since.
They obviously need to use this approach once again.
Here are a few other lessons learned –
*Sanchez has to do a better job of dealing with the wingspan of DE Brent “The Mountain Man” Keisel. The 6-5 defensive end blocked two Sanchez passes. Obviously, you need to throw through passing lanes, not over defensive linemen.
*They need to stay committed to the run, even if it’s ugly, to help Sanchez on his play-fake, which were a huge part of the first win.
If you recall, on the Jets’ only touchdown drive of the game, the two big plays of the drive, were off play fakes.
On a third-and-one, Sanchez faked a handoff to Shonn Greene up the middle, and ran a bootleg left, and hit Dustin Keller for a gain of 11.
And then at the end of the drive, on fourth-and-one, it might have been the play call of the year by B-Schotty. It was another fake handoff to Greene up the middle, and everyone bit, and Sanchez rolled left for a seven-yard touchdown run.
*Nick Mangold was outstanding in the first game against Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton. They need another game like this from their Pro Bowl center. Everything starts with the massive nose tackle in this defense.
*The Jets must play much better run defense in this game. Rashad Mendenhall ran for 99 yards behind a patchwork line. I think they will play better this time, and here are a couple of reasons why.
First off, Sione Pouha lost his battle with rookie center Maurkice Pouncey. This was a little surprising at the time. Pouncey is good, but this game wasn’t Sione-like. Well, we found out this week, Pouha was playing with a messed up hand, after cutting it on glass taking the garbage out that week. Hand play is huge at nose tackle, and Pouha was essentially playing with one hand in this game. Expect a better this game this time from Pouha.
Also, Vernon Gholston played quite a bit in this game, and wasn’t particularly stout against the run. On the last play of the first quarter he was handled by WR Hines Ward, on a Mendenhall gain of nine on the right side. Gholston doesn’t seem to be in the rotation anymore, and the Jets called up a young, fresh nose tackle, Martin Tevaseu, for this game.
*This isn’t rocket science, but it needs to be pointed out. The Jets need to cover the tight ends better. Remember, Heath Miller missed the first game, but the Jets still got beat for a TE touchdown, by his backup, Matt Speath.
The Jets tight end coverage has been an issue all year. The Jets better come up with a better play. Even last week in New England, in an impressive win, the tight end coverage wasn’t great. Alge Crumpler had one touchdown, and should have had two (bad drop).
This is likely going to be a low-scoring game, and they to make sure the deciding point aren’t on a Miller or Speath TD. Eric Smith didn’t play in the first match-up, so his presence this time should help.