The Pittsburgh Steelers defense struggled mightly against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos, with two of three units earning F’s on the Steelers Report Card.
This week they’ll face an inferior quarterback in Mark Sanchez, but they’ll also do it with out their twin Defensive Player of the year winners.
James Harrison, who is recovering from knee surgery, will miss a second consecutive game reports Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette, while Tory Polamalu will also sit out due to an injured calf.
Ryan Clark will rejoin the Steelers secondary, and Ryan Mundy is likely to get his second start. Ironically, Mundy got his first NFL start in Polamalu’s absence in a December match up the Steelers lost to the Jets.
Essex Whisked Away, Steelers Stand Pat on the Offensive Line
Even before Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert suffered injuries vs. the Broncos, everyone expected the Steelers to make a roster move and resign Trai Essex. Yours truly went so far as to predict that on Twitter.
However, Bruce Arians, who already “poached” Mewelde Moore invited another former Steeler into Hoosier territory. Essex accepted his offer, and is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Steelers still could have made an additional move to bolster their offensive line, which only counts eight offensive lineman on the active squad at the moment, at least one below their “normal.”
But they didn’t. Remarks by Kevin Colbert in the recent edition of Steelers Digest indicate that they think highly of Kelvin Becham, and perhaps the Steelers made the calculation that none of the available street free agent offensive lineman would add enough value to their team to sacrifice depth and/or a young prospect.
Or perhaps they’re just banking on the law of averages to protect them from yet another offensive line injury….
Steelers vs. Jets Preview Video
I don’t pretend to follow other NFL teams closely enough to offer detailed pregame assessments, but in this case that is not needed.
Neal Coolong of Behind the Steel Curtain (full disclosure, I also write for BTSC) has put together an excellent 6 minute video breaking down the key match ups that will dominate the Steelers-Jets game.
This is only the latest in a series of SB Nation videos produced by Michael Bean. Check them out on You Tube – and the good news is that they’re using authorized NFL footage, so no worry that Goodell’s YouTube police will make them disappear.