June 15, 2021

Jets Crash In Pittsburgh

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan Photo Credit: Unknown

All of the good feelings that came out of the New York Jets locker room after they dismantled the Buffalo Bills a week ago, were quickly snuffed out when they traveled to Pittsburgh to face a team hosting their home opener. The Steelers were also playing with a chip on their shoulders after losing to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos the week before. The last time the Steelers set their spikes on the home turf, they walked off with heads down and shoulders shrugged as Tim Tebow threw a game-winning, overtime touchdown. Seemed like Pittsburgh remembered how that game ended as they brought the Jets back to reality in their 27-10 victory at Heinz Field.

With both teams missing key defensive players, (Darrelle Revis for the Jets and Troy Polamalu for the Steelers) the Jets did pick up where they left off in their home opener against the Bills. Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead after a Shaun Suisham 45-yard field goal. In New York's first possession, QB Mark Sanchez completes 4 of 5 passes for 80 yards, ending in a 14-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. It was all downhill from that point on for the offense as the Steelers defense suffocated Gang Green the rest of the game. After Nick Folk converted a 38-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-6, the Jets would not get on the scoreboard again.

The defense that Jets head coach Rex Ryan cited as "the best he's coached" since he's been here, could not stop Pittsburgh when it mattered. It began late in the first half with the Steelers starting on their own 20. Ben Roethlisberger completes six passes on the drive for 55 yards. The big play came after connecting with Emanuel Sanders for 19 yards. Thirteen yards were added after safety LaRon Landry gets flagged for a late hit. The drive ends in a one-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller giving the Steelers a 13-10 lead. The Jets offense sputtered the rest of the game with Sanchez only completing 6 of 22 passes for 58 yards. The running game was non-existent as they gained only 90 yards, 22 of those yards coming from Tim Tebow out of the wildcat formation.

The Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the time of possession holding on to the ball for more than 13 minutes than New York. It wore on the Jets defense as Roethlisberger finished his day throwing for 275 yards completing 24 of 31 passes. As in his customary fashion, Big Ben shook off several Jets defenders scrambling out of the pocket before tossing a complete pass. As solid as Roethlisberger was overall, Sanchez was only able to complete one pass to his wide receivers in the second half.

Two games do not a season make but it's clear that the New York Jets should be a tad concerned when they travel to Miami to face a team coming off a rout over the Oakland Raiders. Couple that with the fact that Miami is facing its ex-head coach Tony Sparano (now offensive coordinator for the Jets) and just like the Steelers, the Dolphins will be playing with a little extra incentive.

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