The New York Jets are taking a different tone ahead of the AFC Championship, offering quiet praise of the Pittsburgh Steelers as they get set to take the field on Saturday. The attitude this week is in stark contrast to last week, when the Jets ripped the New England Patriots in every way imaginable as the war of words between the two teams escalated leading up to Sunday’s AFC playoff game. This week, there’s no serious barbs or insults, just two teams hunkering down with a berth in the Super Bowl on the line.
Compared to the venom spewed before last week’s game, the comments this week have been mild. Santonio Holmes praised Troy Polamalu, calling him the best player he’s every played with or against. Compare that to last week, when Antonio Cromartie dropped a profanity-laced tirade in the direction of Tom Brady when asked about the Patriots star quarterback.
The only “trash talk” to come out of this week wasn’t even a story at all. Ike Taylor told reporters he’d try to light-up Holmes if he came across the middle despite the two being former teammates that still maintain a friendship. Jets’ fans will be happy to know the two won’t be playing patty-cake on the field with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. Holmes and teammate Braylon Edwards responded, saying you have to play with that mentality when competing against a friend.
Without subtle foot references and boisterous trash talk, we’re left with a great matchup that doesn’t need any added storylines. Rex Ryan and the Jets are trying to break through and back up the big talk that began before the players even hit the field this season. The Steelers are trying to make it back to the Super Bowl for the third time in six years, using the same hard-nosed defense they always have.
Tune in Sunday at 3:30 p.m. as the Steelers and Jets hit the field in the AFC Championship with a Super Bowl berth on the line.