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Jets D-Line Is X-Factor

Andy Lyons, Getty Images

There are so many subplots to this weekend’s Jets/Steelers AFC Championship Game.  Rex Ryan’s trash talking bunch, Mark Sanchez winning on the road, the Steelers defensive stars - the list goes on and on.

But the biggest x-factor of the weekend is the Jets defensive line.

All year long, I’ve been saying it could be their downfall but last week, it was actually a strength against New England.  They got pressure on Brady with different schemes.  But more importantly, the New York front 3 didn’t need to blitz all the time to get pressure. That’s what killed the Jets all season. Opposing QB’s had way too much time to throw.

The Jets need to make Ben Roethlisburger uncomfortable.  And I don’t mean the awkward apology “press-conference” uncomfortable - I’m talking about being uncomfortable in the pocket. I know Ben’s best at improvising but you can’t let him have time. Your cornerbacks are only as good as your d-line. They can’t cover people forever.

If the Jets defense does their job, it will keep their offense on the field. The Steelers can’t score if they don’t have the ball. The Jets need to have ball control to win this game. Let’s face it – on paper, the Steelers are probably the better team. But the Jets almost need to keep it low scoring and win ugly.

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