Goal Line Stand
J-E-T-S win at Blitz-burgh thanks to late goal line stand.
By: Nathan Rush | 12/20/10, 1:42 PM EST
The Jets defense stood strong in the franchise's first ever win on the road at Pittsburgh, taking a 22–17 victory in what could be a playoff preview.
New York veteran pass rusher Jason Taylor sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the end zone for a safety before New York's Rex-ecutioner stop unit forced two incomplete passes from Big Ben to end the game. Rex Ryan's usually aggressive defense did allow Big Ben to move the chains by rushing only three for most of the final drive. But the bend-don't-break philosophy ultimately paid off.
After combining to throw for zero TDs and four INTs in back-to-back embarrassing losses at New England (45–3) and against Miami (10–6), embattled Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez played well enough — completing 19-of-29 passes for 170 yards through the air, a rushing TD and zero turnovers — to pull off arguably the biggest statement win of his young career.
Although the Jets are 6–1 on the road this season, Sanchez's California background and lack of NFL success in cold weather had raised questions about the capability of the second-year signal-caller out of USC. But the Sanch-ise made plays when the opportunities presented themselves and didn't throw the game away in a playoff atmosphere, in the snow, in Pittsburgh this week.
Maybe these Jets are contenders after all.
Most observers thought the Milwaukee Brewers would be in the trade market this hot stove season — as sellers, not buyers. But instead of shopping first baseman Prince Fielder, the Brew crew has acquired 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Royals.
Milwaukee several of its top young players — including shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-handed pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress — in order to acquire Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt from Kansas City.
Greinke has a career line of 60–67 with a 3.82 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 931 strikeouts in 1108.0 innings. In 2009, however, he was nearly untouchable — with a 16–8 record (despite little to no run support from the Royals), 2.16 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 242 strikeouts in 229.1 innings.
Puerto Rico Pitino
Rick Pitino has taken three teams (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) to the Final Four, cutting down the nets with the Wildcats in 1996. Now, the 58-year-old — who has also coached the NBA's Knicks and Celtics — will lead the Puerto Rico national team in their attempt to secure a bid to the 2012 Olympics in London.
Pitino will use the unique opportunity to help not only the Puerto Rico national team but also his Louisville Cardinals. Next summer, the two squads will practice against one another before heading down to the Bahamas for a tournament. From there, Puerto Rico will compete in the 2011 FIBA Tournament of the Americas, where they must finish in the top two in order to secure a berth in the 2012 Olympics.
Puerto Rico qualified for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, upsetting the USA en route to a sixth-place finish in the tournament. But Puerto Rico was unable to qualify for the games in 2008.
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