By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
After today’s report that Revis suffered a mild concussion late in the game against the Bills, the Jets will need to have a contingency plan to face the Steelers speedy set of wideouts in case Revis’ symptoms linger longer than expected.
Of course, you don’t just lose the best defender on the planet and not expect a dropoff, but the Jets are deep enough in the secondary to survive a game without Revis, but it will be a unique challenge for Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine.
Kyle Wilson as the boundry: Wilson, being the third corner on the team, will be immediately inserted as a starter on the outside. Wilson was a great boundary corner at Boise State; his struggles in the pro game are rooted from him making the difficult adjustment to the slot position.
However, Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are either too fast or too quick for Wilson to handle. Wilson will need to be superb in the press to handle himself on an island. Odds are, Wilson would get the quicker Antonio Brown with Antonio Cromartie on the speedy Wallace.
The Jets will need to give Wilson considerable safety help, which is something they are not used to doing with Revis on the field. It would cause them to give Cromartie less help on his side, which may result in more underneath routes for Wallace. However, the Jets are going to have to make a few sacrifices, and they would much rather give up an underneath route than get burned deep.
Zone Concepts: Of course, the Jets are not going to sit in man coverage all day long. Mixing zones and blitz concepts to confuse Big Ben will be key.
The Jets could use a heavy does of Cover 2 concepts, which is designed to limit big plays. I would also expect to see the Jets in a lot of “Big Nickel” looks even with base personnel on the field, betting that their defensive line can handle the run, even when being out-manned.
Whatever the Jets decide to do, they will need to mix up coverage to confuse both Ben Roethlisberger and their young array of pass-catchers.
Don’t Forget about the Tight End: It can be easy to get consumed with stopping Pittsburg’s stud receiving corps, but Heath Miller is going to be a load to handle. Scott Chandler had success against the Jets defense, as the Jets did a poor job getting good matchups against him. The Jets need to be mindful as to who is covering the big tight end at all times.
Rely on Pass Rush: The Jets were unable to put up big sack numbers against the Bills, but Buffalo’s quick-strike offense makes it difficult to get sacks on Fitzpatrick.
The Steelers, on the other hand, have a leaky offensive line that lack experience. Their first-round pick guard David DeCastro is out and Mike Adams has not played well at right tackle.
The Steelers are ripe for the picking for Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson to make a statement with breakout games. If they can get pressure on Roethlisberger on their own, it will allow the Jets to help make up for a Revis-less defense by keeping more defenders in coverage.