On this season of the HBO NFL documentary Hard Knocks, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan declared it was his intention for the Jets to lead the league in Wins. While the team came up short in that regard, Ryan neverless has coached his team to its second consecutive AFC championship game.
The Jets venture to Heinz Field today to face the Pittsburgh Steelers and with weather reports indicating a game played in single-digit weather, fans of smashmouth football should be in for a treat.
The Jets (13-5) are riding the momentum of their upset wins against the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots, while the Steelers (13-4) are riding a wave of momentum of their own after defeating the Baltimore Ravens last week in a 31-24 comeback.
The game, a rematch of a Week 15 battle the Jets won 22-17, promises to be a memorable one. However, those expecting a repeat of that Week 15 matchup would be wise to consider the Steelers will be playing this game with all-world strong safety Troy Polamalu and talented tight-end Heath Miller, two important members of the team that missed the Week 15 game.
Talented as he may be, Polamalu will not be able to cover everyone on the Jets offense, including sure-fire Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, who is trying to reach his first Super Bowl.
Strap yourself in for this one, folks, and expect fireworks. The Jets and Steelers are both capable of putting points on the board and will be putting each other's defenses to the test. However, in the end, look for the Steelers' homefield advantage and experience to win out and for the Steelers to advance to the franchise's eight Super Bowl.
Prediction: Steelers 27 Jets 23
Stay tuned for IBTimes' live play-by-play of the game, kicking off around 6:30PM eastern.