A winless team may be a perfect recipe a trap game for a New York Jets team that is trying to find their footing, but that doesn’t seem to be the mindset that they have going into Sunday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Anytime you play Pittsburgh, it’s always a physical game so we’re certainly preparing for it,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “Again the pads aren’t on because we know what is in store for us. We know this team is loaded for bear.”
The Steelers (0-4) will make their first visit to the Meadowlands since the 2007 season when they lost in overtime 19-16. During his tenure in New York Ryan is 1-2 against the Steelers, losing once in the AFC Championship game during the 2010-11 season.
The Steelers have faltered due to inconsistent play from both their offense and defense where they rank No. 19 and No. 20 respectively, according to football outsiders. The Steelers defense hasn’t finished lower than 14th since the 2003 season.
The defense that will get the most attention is on the Jets side where they rank fourth in the NFL. Getting to the quarterback and bringing him down isn’t easy when facing Ben Roethlisberger but the Jets are prepared.
“Well, I’ll tell you after the game, joked Ryan on the secret to stopping Pittsburgh’s quarterback. “He’s just big. You have to make sure you wrap him. He can shake you and he knows it too,” said Ryan. “You have to do a tremendous job of wrapping him up and running your feet and hope help is coming.”
Taking down Roethlisberger seems to be as hard as ever but getting sacked hasn’t been his biggest problem this season, it’s been protecting the football. Roethlisberger has now coughed the ball up five times this season, which is one less than he had all of last season.
“Well, sometimes those things happen,” noted Ryan. “Sometimes that’s another thing when you’re that big and strong. You might not be getting the ball out or whatever,” said Ryan. “Some of those things happen. That’s a part of the bad, there’s plenty of good as we all know. But maybe if there’s some bad, maybe that’s it.”
The Jets will be coming off a short week while the Steelers had a bye week to prepare for their first win of the season.