Tag Archive: AFC

So the AFC comes down to this- The New York Jets in their second AFC Championship in as many years and the Pittsburgh Steelers, overcoming the four-game suspension of their starting QB to have yet another quality season.

The Jets put together a stellar defensive game plan to stop Tom Brady and 10 other guys, but now they face almost the polar opposite- a strong running game and a rock-solid defense.  They will have to pound the ball at least somewhat effectively to set up play action for Sanchez- a tall order.  Passing on the Steelers defense is no easy task, either, and both safeties have been playing very well lately.  Sanchez will need to be mistake free all game for them to make it further than last year.

For Pittsburgh, they can expect to face something other than 11 active DBs for the AFC Championship.  Expect them to run hard and often, before getting safeties to bite on play action on second- and third-and-short.  They will have to honor it, and Mike Wallace will make them pay.  On the defensive side of the ball, they will have to shut down Greene and Tomlinson, which is not easy task, but if they can force them into passing situations early and often, they will force Sanchez into making bad passes or holding the ball to long.  Look for Polamalu to line up in the box and drop into coverage, and blitz from deep.  Sanchez has a lot of upside, but is young and can be rattled and tricked into making mistakes.  A veteran Steeler secondary will take advantage.

The Line: Steelers by 3.5

My Pick: Steelers 24, Jets 17


It’s First and Fifteen…

Hello, all, and welcome to First and Fifteen, a blog about all things football!  The middle of the playoffs might seem like an odd time to get started, but hey, why not?  We’ll be here through the rest of the playoffs and the offseason with observations, analysis and opinions.  Hopefully you enjoy the ride!