Opponent Breakdown: New York Jets

A look at what the Steelers will be up against on Sunday afternoon against the New York Jets:

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN: The Jets have surrendered completions of 42, 42, 49, 54, 54, 71 and 84 yards this season, including 42-, 54-, 71- and 84-yard touchdown passes.

The 42-yard scoring strike from Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to WR Tanner McEvoy in last Sunday's 27-17 victory over the Jets is as representative of such breakdowns as any.

On first-and-10 from the Jets' 42-yard line late in the second quarter, the Seahawks lined up with two running backs, a tight end and two wide receivers.

TE Luke Wilson, who had lined up at fullback, RB Alex Collins and TE Jimmy Graham stayed in to block on an eight-man protection, which meant the Seahawks had two eligible receivers on the play (McEvoy slot-right and WR Jermaine Kearse wide-right).

The Jets rushed four, which meant they had seven defenders available to cover two receivers.

And McEvoy was still able to run unencumbered down the field. S Calvin Pryor actually turned away from McEvoy in the middle of the field, then fell down after apparently realizing nobody had McEvoy and trying to turn back.

DE Sheldon Richardson almost managed a sack on the play. He beat OG Mark Glowinski and Collins on the way to the pocket but Wilson saw Richardson coming and narrowly avoided a sack by stepping up.

The Jets gave up a 54-yard TD to Bengals WR A.J. Green on Sept. 11 when CB Darrelle Revis appeared to be expecting help in the deep middle of the field but didn't get it (S Marcus Gilchrist and rookie CB Marcus Williams both failed to provide any).

Such issues have cropped up on short passes, as well.

On Sept. 25 at Kansas City, Pryor followed TE Travis Kelce in motion across the back of the formation and then started to follow Kelce back across the field on a shallow cross after the snap. Pryor took a couple of steps with Kelce then stopped. LB Darron Lee either didn't know Kelce was being passed off or reacted too late and Kelce caught the ball, made it to the sideline, turned up the field and scored from 12 yards away.

PICK FITZ: Fox color analyst John Lynch had this to say during the broadcast of the Jets-Seahawks game: "(QB) Ryan Fitzpatrick told us, 'One-on-one with (WR) Brandon Marshall, I'm going his way.'"

Fitzpatrick was true to his word despite Seahawks CB Richard Sherman spending much of the afternoon in Marshall's face.

The results were consistent with the difficulties the Jets have had getting Marshall going this season.

In the first half, Marshall was targeted six times and caught three balls for 72 yards and a touchdown.

In the second half, Marshall was targeted six times and made one catch for 17 yards and Sherman came up with a pair of interceptions.

On the season, Marshall has 16 catches on 39 targets (seven on 22 attempts over the last two games) for 249 yards and one touchdown.

Fitzpatrick has been intercepted four times throwing Marshall's way.

Marshall had 109 receptions for 1,502 yards and 14 TDs in 2015.

Fitzpatrick's 10 interceptions lead the NFL. As is often the case with interceptions, not all of them have been the quarterback's fault (one of his three in Seattle glanced off the hands of rookie WR Robby Anderson).

But Fitzpatrick also appears never to have met a back-shoulder throw to Marshall that he doesn't like.

Fitzpatrick has also been aggressive with throws into coverage, sometimes to a fault.

Of his 10 INTs, eight have occurred on first or second down, four have been thrown on snaps from the opponent's side of the 50 (two more came about from the Jets' 49 and the Jets' 47) and three have been picked on a snap from the opponent's red zone.

TAKE WHAT YOU CAN GET: The Jets scored an unlikely touchdown against Seattle on a play almost everyone on the field apparently thought was an incomplete pass.

On first-and-10 from the Seattle 45 with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick dropped back and was hit by LB Cliff Avril just as he was attempting to throw. The ball took a couple of bounces forward into the hands of rookie WR Charone Peake at the Seattle 42. Peake turned and headed for the end zone while the majority of both teams stood around and watched.

It was a reminder as to the importance of playing to the whistle.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.