TOJ Stock Watch: New York Jets vs. Steelers Edition

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As we all know by now, the Jets sit at 3-2 after five weeks and are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers this week in what is shaping up as a huge game. The Steelers may be winless, but they’re coming off a bye and are still a scary foe. If the Jets win, they could be playing the Patriots the following week with first place in the division on the line, which is still a little bit surreal to even think about. But let’s not look past the Steelers in what should definitely be a tight game and a great test for Geno Smith and his Jets. Let’s go ahead and do some buying and selling…

BUY: Rex Ryan – In case you missed it yesterday, yes, John Idzik should be getting the contract extension for Rex ready now.

BUY: Marty Mornhinweg – The job Marty did against the Falcons on Monday night was tremendous. He saw his rookie quarterback struggle the previous week in Tennessee and decided to make things simple for him, especially with his #1 receiver, Santonio Holmes, out of the game. He designed a game plan built around quick easy passes to get Geno into a groove and take advantage of weak spots in the Atlanta defense. And take advantage is exactly what Geno did — and then some — en route to a three touchdown day.

This week, Marty is going to have to come up with another great game plan to get Geno Smith comfortable early against Dick LeBeau’s zone blitzing defense. One of Marty’s biggest flaws as a play-caller is his tendency to get too pass-happy and neglect the running game. With his full stable of three running backs all back and available now, he needs to take full advantage of them put them to use.

SELL: Geno Smith – Just kidding.

BUY: Geno Smith – That’s better. I don’t want to jinx Geno, so I’m just going to leave it at this.

BUY: Jeff Cumberland – I have been critical of Cumberland in the past and didn’t expect much from him this season, but it looks like he’s headed for a bigger role in this offense in the coming weeks. Cumberland is big, strong, and fast, and can provide the Jets with some mismatches down the middle of the field. He’s had his struggles in the past, but it looks as though he’s starting to put it all together and Marty Mornhinweg is starting to feature him a little bit in the offense. It took a few weeks, but Geno Smith is also showing confidence in his big tight end and I’d look for him to continue to play well.

BUY: Brian Winters – Check out the Big Man Report this week for a detailed look at Brian Winters, but we didn’t hear a lot about Winters this week during the game and for an interior offensive lineman, that is a good thing. He only got beat the one time for a sack and wasn’t a penalty machine like Vlad Ducasse. I’d consider that a successful debut, and he’s only going to get better from here.

BUY: Jets Defensive Line – I love how all of the “experts” are starting to come around on these guys. Sure, we here at TOJ have been touting this defensive line for what seems like forever, but it’s nice players like Mo Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are starting to get the credit they deserve nationally. They can be a dominant force together for many years, and Jets fans should be downright giddy about the possibilities.

As for this week, the Steelers offensive line is one again pretty terrible, and the Jets ability to dominate up front and hit Ben Roethlisberger repeatedly will be instrumental if the Jets are going to win. The Steelers will probably try to run the ball early to establish that, but that will be pointless, since the Jets are incredibly stingy when it comes to allowing rushing yards. Every time Big Ben hands it off will be a victory for the Jets.

SELL: Covering Heath Miller – The only real part of the Steelers offense that would scare me this week is a healthy Heath Miller being back and catching passes down the middle of the field. Tony Gonzalez torched the Jets defense last week, and while MIller isn’t quite the same receiving threat, he can pose a ton of problems for Rex Ryan’s defense.

BUY: Nick Folk – Every year the Jets try to replace Nick Folk and every year it fails. Nick Folk is an excellent kicker and I have the utmost confidence in him in big spots like on Monday night in Atlanta. If the game comes down to another do-or-die situation this Sunday, Nick Folk is guy we want. He’s even doing a better job on kickoffs this year.

BUY: Jets Win – While I do think this is going to be a very tough and very dangerous game against a desperate Steelers team coming off a bye, the Jets should be able to do just enough to get a win. This is not the same Steelers team we are used to seeing, and their defense is clearly on the decline. I expect the Jets to get production from their three-headed monster at RB this week and the defensive line to harass Roethlisberger all day. Jets win 20-13.

  • John X

    Agreed, this will be a tough game and it gets no easier if Cro is out. It doesn;t help that first place is only two games out for the Steelers.

    We do have some favorable matchups – I think they can/will run a lot on the Steelers and alternatively, will not be able to run on the Jets with that rag-tag OLine. If they can isolate Ben in the pocket and limit his getting loose, they increase their chances. But Ben has been absolute kryptonite for Rex’s defenses and torched them repeatedly last year. This would be a big win.

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  • Mark Phelan

    What an up-beat analysis!

    Re: Rex Ryan
    This will be a major test of his defensive genius. Both ‘starting CB’s’ on the bench and vs. a QB who turns sacks into TD’s.

    Covering receivers AND the QB is Ryan’s challenge. I agree he will accomplish it. The team is definitely buying into a fired up season.

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