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Jets have tough task: Holding off Steelers' defense

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold reacts during the second

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold reacts during the second half of an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. Credit: AP/Gary Landers

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The Jets know what’s coming on Sunday. Stopping it is another story.

The Steelers have a ferocious defense, and their front will be bearing down and zeroing in on Sam Darnold.

“It’s a great challenge,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “It’s going to be one of the biggest challenges we’ve had all year.''

Pittsburgh is tied for the league lead with 49 sacks and the Jets' offensive line has allowed the fourth-most sacks (48). Darnold could see a lot of outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree and tackle Cameron Hayward in his space and face on Sunday.

Watt has 13 sacks and 31 quarterback hits. Dupree has 9 1/2 sacks and Hayward eight.

The Steelers have 19 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries. Their 35 total takeaways are second-most in the NFL, one behind New England.

“They got some really good players up front that we’re prepared for,” Darnold said. “I got to continue to make sure that I’m getting the ball out and make sure that I’m not staying in there and doing any unnecessary things to kind of cause pressure on myself or hurt the team in any fashion.

“I just got to continue to play smart football.”

Gift from God

Loggains was asked his thoughts about Darnold’s tight-window touchdown pass while on the move to Jamison Crowder last week against the Ravens.

“That Mom, Dad and God gave him a lot of gifts,” Loggains said. “There’s no defense for the perfect ball. The guy covered Crowder. Crowder did a really good job with his feet. He couldn’t put that ball anywhere else than where he put it.”

Injury updates

Robby Anderson did not practice and was sent home because of an illness. Demaryius Thomas (knee/hamstring) and Tom Compton (calf) also didn’t practice. … Jamal Adams (ankle) and Quinnen Williams again were limited, but Adam Gase was optimistic about them returning this week.

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