Jets should stretch the field
Updated: September 12, 2003, 3:14 PM ETBy By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
Miami at N.Y. Jets
The Jets just signed special team icon Michael Bates, but he missed all of
last season with an ankle injury and he's 33. He'll not only return but
he'll cover kicks as well. He will help immensely if he's back to the form
that helped him go to five Pro Bowls, but if his rust is evident he could do
the team more harm than good.
The Jets have but one objective, stop Ricky Williams. Last year they held
him to 53 yards on 20 carries and won the game. But that was with Ray Lucas
at quarterback and the Jets didn't have to worry about the passing game.
But the Jets feel they can stop Williams without devoting eight men to the
box because of DT Chester McGlockton. McGLockton has trimmed down and will
play more snaps than he did in the season opener against Washington.
Offensive coordinator Paul Hackett must attack downfield. The Dolphins
will play a great deal of man-to-man, and while that is a good defense to
exploit with the slants and crossing routes of the West Coast offense, it also presents
an excellent opportunity to try and get a few big plays by airing it
out. Last week, the Jets attempted only one deep pass, in part because of QB
Vinny Testaverde's checkdowns. But this week they'll have to challenge the
Dolphins' corners who are vulnerable. CB Sam Madison is questionable
with an ankle injury and S Shawn Wooden is questionable with hamstring and
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City
Though the Steelers have changed their MO, if there was a game in which
they would like to pound the ball between the tackles and control the clock
it's this one. But with RB Jerome Bettis questionable with a groin injury
that might not be a possibility. Thanks to a review of game tapes by the
Elias Sports Bureau, the Steelers gained only 88 yards against the Ravens
for an average of 2.6 yards a carry. They'll have to be more efficient in
Kansas City because they can't get involved in a shootout or they'll lose.
The Steelers need CBs Dewayne Washington and Chad Scott to play much better
defense. As a team the Steelers had 138 yards worth of penalties in Week 1, but CBs
Dewayne Washington and Chad Scott were responsible for 100 of those yards
thanks to four penalties. Washington had two pass interference penalties on
consecutive plays that led to the first Ravens' touchdown, and Scott had a
pass interference call as well as a holding call. The Chiefs don't feature
their receivers exclusively in the passing game, but they will take their
shots and Washington and Scott need to do a better job of playing the ball.