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Nose job

The run defense started springing serious leaks against New England and the dam burst in Cleveland, but newly-anointed first-team nose tackle Montravius Adams doesn't feel like the answer.

"No, man, I just feel like a football player," Adams maintained today. "I'm just glad to be recognized.

"I just want to keep putting some great run stuff out there and try to help in the pass."

The Patriots held the ball for the final 6:33 while closing out a 17-14 victory over the Steelers on Sept. 18 at Acrisure Stadium.

New England ran the ball eight times for 50 yards on the possession, an average of 6.3 yards per carry, before finishing with three consecutive game-sealing kneel-downs.

The Browns turned a 14-13 halftime deficit last Thursday night in Cleveland into a 23-14 lead on the strength of two possessions that included a combined 25 plays, gained 150 yards and possessed the ball for 13:37.

Cleveland ran the ball 17 times for 82 yards on the marches, an average of 4.8 yards per attempt, including running back Nick Chubb's 1-yard dive and spin into the end zone.

The Browns amassed 171 rushing yards overall in their 29-17 victory.

The Steelers' response has included Adams replacing Tyson Alualu at first-team nose tackle on the depth chart.

Alualu played 39 defensive snaps against the Browns (54 percent).

Adams played 15 (21 percent) after having appeared in a combined 16 defensive snaps over the season's first two games.

"This is a humbling situation," Alualu acknowledged. "I gotta look for ways where, you know, have humility and see where I need to get better. I trust in the abilities I have and the people that are around me. I know for a fact that I'll come out better, which will be better for the team, for sure."

The Steelers prepare for the Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets

Until then, "You continue to put in the work and earn the trust of your coaches and teammates to go out there and do what you need to do," Alualu continued. "I have all the confidence in the world to do that."

Next up for the Steelers and their altered defensive front is a game against the Jets on Sunday at Acrisure.

The Jets (1-2) emerged from their first three games ranked fifth in the NFL in passing offense and 26th in rushing offense.

New York is averaging 4.4 yards per rushing attempt but has often played from behind this season (the Jets scored 14 points in the final 1:55 of regulation in their 31-30 victory on Sept. 18 at Cleveland).

That's made finding opportunities to consistently run the ball challenging in the early going this season.

But with second-year quarterback Zach Wilson poised to make his 2022 debut in the Steelers game, the Jets may arrive with more of a run-the-ball mindset.

"I think they will," Adams said. "Not even from their quarterback returning, mostly just from how we finished the last game, a little bit before that.

"It's a copycat league, we struggled a little bit with that so I'm sure initially they'll start off and try to hit us with the run. We're gonna do our thing so hopefully they'll throw that ball around a little bit."