The Steelers have teed off on rookie quarterbacks like the Jets' Geno Smith plenty of times in the past. If they ever needed a dam-busting, slump-breaker, he's it. While he didn't turn the ball over once in the Jets' 30-28 win over Atlanta in Week 5 - a performance that earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, the Steelers have five games of film on him, and that will serve to their advantage. It will be the Steelers' first takeaway, and first multi-takeaway game of the 2013 season.
It's not as if he was far off that AFC Offensive Player of the Week bid the last time he played. He's thrown for over 375 passing yards in each of the Steelers' last two games, the only time in his career that's happened. He and wide receiver Antonio Brown are locked in to each other right now, and the presence of Heath Miller has opened up the passing game.
The Steelers are 1-0 at MetLife Stadium, their first win coming last season over the Giants. A pro-Steelers crowd was on hand to watch them run all over the hapless Giants, and one will be there today to take on a better Jets team. But the Steelers and Jets are similar kinds of teams - physical, proud and hard-nosed. Expect the Steelers to be much sharper and better-prepared.
The Jets are down Santonio Holmes and at least one cornerback - rookie Dee Milliner. Antonio Cromartie is expected to play, although he won't be 100 percent after hyperextending his knee in practice this week. The Steelers, as odd as this seems, are fully healthy, minus left guard Ramon Foster, who will play, but perhaps not at 100 percent. It's a good game for the Steelers' passing game.
Element of surprise
Steelers rookie Le'Veon Bell brings a new dimension of offense into this game. The Jets haven't seen a whole lot of Bell - just his 20 touches in Week 4 against the Vikings. He was fairly impressive in his debut, and while the Jets run defense is among the best in the league - and player-for-player, could be the best - Bell gives the Steelers another weapon to their surging offensive arsenal.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers vs. Jets Pregame Stream
- The Standard is The Standard Show, Steelers vs. Jets Week 6
- Defensive key matchup: Polamalu vs. Smith
- Fantasy Football: Which Steelers to start/sit
- Offensive key katchup: Velasco vs. Richardson
- Steelers vs. Jets Week 6: TV schedule game time, odds, weather and more
- Reviewing the Steelers roster after multiple transactions
- Polamalu: 'If attitude won games, we'd go out and get cheerleaders'
- LeBeau is 15-2 against rookie quarterbacks, like Jets Geno Smith
- Steelers vs. Jets Preview: Gut check time at MetLife Stadium