By Jason Keidel
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Being black & gold in a green land I feel slightly surrounded, an odd but fun week when my friends are foes. My inbox bubbles with specious salutations, wishing me luck with one hand while clutching a knife behind your back with the other.
I’ve always found it curious that the muscular pundits, bulging from their tight, tailored suits, who bled for ten or twenty years on the gridiron, are no better at picking games than you.
It’s your town, your team, and your time. So why not give you, the fan, your moment?
Alex Jorge, 39
Fan since 1986.
I see a low-scoring game. Jets will ground & pound.
The Jets will run for well over 100 yards, setting up play-action passes, and keeping LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison from going wild. I’m worried about Troy Polamalu. He’s the X-Factor. I don’t wish anyone harm, but it wouldn’t kill me if he pulled his Achilles tendon before the game.
People forget that the Jets are better now than they were in Week 15, when they beat Pittsburgh. Jets will use the “us against the world” mentality to their advantage for another week.
Jets win, 24-13.
Byron Mason, 45
Fan since 1969.
It will be a close game, similar to the one earlier this season. Both teams will try to avoid making the first turnover. Jets will run early with no success and pass only on third downs to protect Mark Sanchez.
Steelers will open up only near midfield, also to protect the ball. I see many screens since they have trouble running. Also watch the tight ends, since they may prove to be too much for the Jet linebackers. Not too fast, but too physical. Special teams will be the difference.
I like the Jets 20-14.
Mat Chamberlain, 42
Fan since Richard Todd.
The first two or three drives are crucial. Jets can’t fall behind and get rattled by crowd and allow the Steelers to unload on Sanchez.
The win over New England was a huge psychological victory, as well. Jets must keep Ben Roethlisberger contained. Brady is easier to find and to knock down. Ben makes his plays after he’s been hit.
Jets will keep Pittsburgh guessing on defense. Running game and special teams will be the difference.
Jets win, 21-17.
Alan Block, 41
Fan since 1977.
I think this game will be tougher than both Indy and New England. Big Ben is more mobile, the Jets can’t completely drop back in coverage or he’ll take off.
They need to disguise blitzes and be timely. Pittsburgh also has a better run defense than Indy and New England so Sanchez will need to have the game of his life. I see Dustin Keller being a big factor.
Jets win, 24-20.
Jason Keidel, 41
I brand myself a Bradshaw Baby. My 1978 Terrible Towel will dangle from my collar like a bib.
Special teams aside, the Steelers are better at nearly every position. And they’re at home.
And I don’t think it matters.
Writers are wed to romantic notions like big dreams and destiny – everything the Jets are at the moment. The Mets had it in 1969. The Giants had it in 2007. The Jets have it in 2011.
Smash the chalkboard, trash your telestrators. You can’t quantify the qualities that will lead the Jets. When you think you can beat anyone, you often do.
Jets win, 21-20.
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com
What’s your prediction? Sound off in the comments below…