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Steelers News: Will the Steelers come out running the football vs. the Jets in Week 16?

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 16 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the New York Jets we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the next game starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether the Steelers will come out running the ball vs. a very good Jets rush defense.

Let’s get to the news:

  • On paper you would want to attack the New York Jets defense through the air. That is logical thinking though. Will Randy Fichtner and company come out throwing the football?

Steelers seek more consistency in running game against Jets

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

For a team that built a three-game winning streak on an ability to run the ball, the Pittsburgh Steelers got away from that formula in the second half Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Even after the Steelers went ahead by three points in the third quarter of a 17-10 loss, running took a backseat to the number of pass attempts by undrafted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges.

Up to the point the Steelers took a 10-7 lead on the first possession of the third quarter, Hodges had thrown 16 times compared to 10 runs, and five of the seven plays on the 69-yard touchdown drive were passes.

From that juncture, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner called 26 pass plays (four resulted in sacks) compared to four runs.

During his weekly meeting with reporters Thursday, Fichtner was asked whether he abandoned the run too soon.

“I don’t know about that,” he said. “A little situation in the second half may have dictated a little bit more. At halftime, it was close to 50-50. I don’t know if it’s always about the number. You like to kick yourself sometimes and say maybe we should have run it more here, maybe we should have passed it a little bit more on first down — things like that.

“It goes back to efficiency. We have to be efficient when we do call the run and the pass and expect that we’ll obviously protect the ball as well.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • The Steelers offense can’t be intimidated by the Jets’ defense, and that is more directed towards Randy Fichtner.

Tim Benz: Jets’ stellar run defense can’t scare Steelers

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The result was bad.

The explanation was worse.

Last week, the Steelers threw the football with fourth-string quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges 38 times against the Buffalo Bills.

That’s the same Buffalo Bills team that entered the game third in the NFL in pass defense.

That didn’t end well. Hodges was intercepted four times and sacked four times. The Steelers ended up losing 17-10.

So how will it play out Sunday against the New York Jets’ second-ranked rush defense?

The Bills entered that contest in the middle of the pack (14th) in rushing yards allowed per game (105.3).

Considering the Steelers’ putrid offense isn’t particularly good at either throwing (31st in the NFL entering Week 15) or running the ball (24th), one would’ve thought that the Steelers might be more inclined to test the Bills on the ground a bit more often than 14 times in 56 snaps.

One would’ve thought that.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Sam Darnold better be ready for some pressure on Sunday from the Steelers’ defense. A new kind of “ghost”.

Kevin Gorman: Steelers plan to put blinding pressure on Jets QB Sam Darnold

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Sam Darnold might have seen ghosts against New England, but the New York Jets second-year quarterback should be more wary of the shadows.

Joe Namath of Beaver Falls casts a long one, as the only Jets quarterback to win a Super Bowl. So do Darnold’s classmates in the 2018 NFL Draft, as Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson is the MVP frontrunner and Buffalo’s Josh Allen clinched a playoff berth.

As much as Darnold has shown signs of the pedigree that made him the third overall player picked in the draft, his greatest challenge will be living up to enormous expectations that come with playing quarterback in the Big Apple. That kind of pressure can be blinding to a young quarterback.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are wary of the damage Darnold can do, given how the Jets are a different team since his return after being sidelined for four weeks with mononucleosis. The 22-year-old has completed 61% of his passes for an average of 247 yards per game, with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Jets are 5-5 in those games.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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