Jets should stretch the field

Updated: September 12, 2003, 3:14 PM ET
By 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 hand injuries.

    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.