Pittsburgh, PA– With kickoff just over 45 minutes away, the moment of truth for this year’s Jets team is quickly approaching.
For the second year in a row this Jets team finds themselves in the AFC Championship, but unlike last year the team expected to be here and they have been telling everyone since day one of training camp, the goal wasn’t to get here, it was to take that next step to the Super Bowl.
As soon as the opening kick launches itself from the boot of the kicker we will all find ourselves watching a 60 minute battle to see which team gets to earn that trip to Dallas to compete for football’s ultimate prize.
Will it be the Steelers surviving for the chance to to add to their collection with their seventh Lombardi Trophy? Or will it be the Jets making their first trip to the Super Bowl, since ‘Broadway,’ Joe Namath led them to their only Super Bowl victory in franchise history, 42 years ago?
Can Sanchez continue to add to his legacy as a crunch-time, playoff game-winning, quarterback who continues to make believers out of skeptics with every post-season performance? Or will it be Ben Roethlisberger padding his own ridiculously impressive post-season resume?
As this is being typed, the fans are slowly and steadily beginning to flood the stands, the city of Pittsburgh is a city that loves their Steelers. Almost every single person you see walking the streets of Pittsburgh over the last couple of days is dressed in Steelers black and gold, the only ones who weren’t just happened to be rocking Jets green and white.
Will this city be loud and ruckus after it’s all said and done? Or stunned and silent like all of New England was last week?
All these questions will be answered after 60 minutes of football are played, but with time to kill and everyone no doubt getting rather antsy, let’s quickly go over some injury updates and tonight’s inactives list.
For the Jets, FB John Conner, DE Vernon Gholston, DT Jarron Gilbert, TE Matthew Mulligan, TE Jeff Cumberland, WR Patrick Turner, DT Marcus Dixon and Kellen Clemens will be the third-string QB.
Santonio Holmes will start in place Jerricho Cotchery and LaDanian Tomlinson gets the title of starting running back over Shonn Greene.
The, ‘Big Katt,’ Shaun Ellis, was a force to be reckoned with last week as he dominated the Patriots offensive line and the Jets will be looking for an equally impressive performance today. The problem is, Ellis hurt his knee and although Rex Ryan says it shouldn’t be a problem, according to ESPN Ellis received a pain-killing shot and the Jets activated DT Martin Tevaseu as emergency insurance incase Elli’s injury is worse than they thought.
The ‘Swiss Army Knife,’ Brad Smith, will play and is expected to be fine and handle kickoff duties and be ready to to contribute in the Wildcat package whenever they call his number.
For the Steelers, S Will Allen, RB Jonathan Dwyer, CB Crezdon Butler, OT Chris Scott, OT Tony Hills, DT Steve McLendon, DE Aaron Smith and Charlie Batch will serve as the third-string QB.
The time for speculating is coming to a close, all the predictions and prognosticating that has been done over the past week will quickly become meaningless. In 45 minutesthe Jets and Steelers will face off with a Super Bowl appearance on the line.
Who will win? Will the Steelers fans be able to continue staking their claim as the most successful franchise in the NFL? Or will it be the Jets fans rejoicing, many of them experiencing a feeling they have never felt before?
The answer will reveal itself after the final whistle blows, but the time is now.
For now is the moment of truth.