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December 19, 2010 - Buck Frank
It's official. Not only will the Steelers be without Troy Polamalu for today's home game against the New York Jets, they'll be without tight end Heath Miller for a second straight week due to lingering effects from a concussion. Matt Spaeth will start in place of Miller, and although the coaches say they expect no drop-off in performance, Spaeth is no Miller. It was one of the overlooked reasons on why the Steelers struggled in the red zone last week against the Bengals. I'm expecting the Steelers to have problems again today in the red zone, unless they utilize Isaac Redman more. The game could come down to which field-goal kicker is more successful. It's going to be cold, but right now (one hour before kickoff), there is little wind. That could change once it gets dark. Ryan Mundy is starting at safety in place of Polamalu. The Jets are without their two starting safeties in Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith, and they'll be without starting right tackle Damien Woody, so both teams will be relying on some backups in key positions. I have the Steelers winning a close one, 16-14. It may come down to a Nick Folk miss or Shaun Suisham make.