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Steelers lookahead: New York Jets

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 3, 2014 9:20 p.m
BillsJetsFootballJPEG0553c
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan reacts during the first half against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Rex Ryan

Remember when the Jets appeared in the AFC title game in 2009 and 2010 — losing the ’10 game at Heinz Field despite a second-half comeback? It’s all just a distant memory to Ryan, once one of the NFL’s hottest coaching properties but now — along with Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons — among the most likely to get fired once the season ends. If not sooner.

The Jets were built around defense when Ryan kept insisting they were on the verge of winning the Super Bowl, but not any longer. They rank a respectable No. 6 overall and possess an effective pass rush, but — Ben Roethlisberger, take note — the secondary is a work of no progress. The Jets have only one interception all season and they’re so short of talent and personnel at cornerback, they played most of their 24-10 loss Sunday to the Chiefs with Marcus Williams, signed off the practice squad only last week, and Josh Thomas, who was signed only last month.

But it’s the offense that’s the major reason for the ongoing eight-game losing streak, their first since they went 1-15 in 1996. Exasperated by ex-WVU QB Geno Smith’s 10 interceptions and a six-turnover game against the Bills, Ryan replaced him Sunday with Michael Vick, who was 21 of 28 for 196 yards but got little help outside of Chris Johnson’s 69 yards rushing. Afterward, Ryan said Vick will start against the Steelers.

The Jets simply aren’t scoring; they have only 16 TDs all season. And they have only 12 TD passes in their last 15 games — as many as Roethlisberger does in his past two games.

Did you know: Since their successive AFC championship game appearances, the Jets are 23-34 and are all but certain to miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

Michael Vick

On the same day in March the Jets cast off former starter Mark Sanchez to the Eagles, they signed Vick, who was cast off by the Eagles after Nick Foles became their starter. So far, it looks like the Eagles got the best of what effectively was a trade. Vick, at 34, is completing barely 50 percent of his passes.

Stat: 19-4

Steelers record vs. Jets.

Percy Harvin

Figuring they didn’t have enough headaches of their own, the Jets decided to take one of Super Bowl champion Seattle’s major distractions off the Seahawks’ hands by dealing for Harvin. He had nine catches for 109 yards and a 65-yard kickoff return against the Chiefs, but did the Jets really need another potential locker room problem?

Stat: 37

Harvin’s receptions the past two seasons.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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