The New York Jets were able to score early, but never again got in rhythm to do it again, losing to the Steelers in Pittsburgh 27-10. Dick Labeau's defense, despite missing James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, still disrupted Mark Sanchez all day. While the Jets defense got pressure on Roethlisberger, he wound up beating them almost every time and poor tackling hurt the defense all game long.
The Steelers received the opening kickoff and started driving. Bart Scott led a parade of Jets in taking down Isaac Redman for eight yard loss. Garrett McIntyre took down Big Ben for a sack. Despite all that the Steelers moved the ball, but the Jets defense stiffened and only allowed a Shaun Suisham 45-yard field goal. Ike Taylor was called for pass interfence while in coverage of Santonio Holmes to help keep the Jets first drive alive. Mark Sanchez found Jeremy Kerley in the seam of the Steelers defense for 45 yards. Sanchez targeted Clyde Gates for 10 yards, then Santonio Holmes for 14 yards on a slant route for the touchdown. That score put the Jets up 7-3.
Suisham opened the quarter after another Pittsburgh drive with yet another 45-yard field goal to cut the lead to one. There would be a personal foul on Timmons for leading with his helmet with hit on Sanchez that kept the next Jets drive going. Ryan Clark broke up a pass meant for Stephen Hill that would have set them up for their second touchdown. Greene ran for nearly ten yards, but left the game until the second half with concussion like symptoms since the tackle had helmet-to-helmet contact. Bilal Powell spelled Greene and got consecutive first downs of one yard and 10. Nick Folk connected from 38 yards to put the Jets up 10-6. On a busted play, Sione Pouha was credited for a sack on Roethlisberger with tackle for loss. We started seeing a rotation at left guard with Vlad Ducasse in for Matt Slauson. LaRon Landry's first personal foul call set up the Steelers inside the Jets 15 yard line and the eventual touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to tight end Heath Miller. Pittsburgh led 13-10 at the half.
Shonn Greene returned to start the half as did Matt Slauson at left guard. Mark Sanchez connected with Konrad Reuland for seven yards. Greene ran for two yards then one more to get the first down. Woodley beat Austin Howard for a sack of Sanchez. On the next Steelers drive, Mo Wilkerson took down Dwyer for a six yard loss. Roethlisberger eventually connected with Mike Wallace for a touchdown, as Cromartie stopped on coverage in the end zone. John Conner went down holding his right knee on the subsequent kickoff, then Tim Tebow came in and ran for 22 yards. Joe McKnight got a first down with some hesitation moves then Steelers' over-pursuit. Jeremy Kerley muffed a punt off his face mask with the Steelers recovering, but fortunately the Jets defense would hold. Sanchez found Reuland again for 13 yards and first down, but consecutive incompletions to Holmes and Kerley ended that drive.
Sanchez threw a bullet to Holmes that saw a mysterious pass interference penalty was called on Ike Taylor when Holmes couldn't make the catch and hit was legal by Steelers. Garrett McIntyre emerged and took down Redman for a loss of two yards and several plays later again sacked Roethlisberger. Yeremiah Bell stripped the ball from Isaac Redman seemingly just before his knee was down, but the challenge went against the Jets. Redman scored from one yard line on second effort to end the scoring. Sanchez finally connected with a wide receiver when hitting Kerley for long gain. The game ended when Sanchez was sacked.
This game was marked by the Jets lack of offensive rhythm, and particularly Mark Sanchez never regaining any timing with his wide receivers, after their first scoring drive. The Steelers corners were very physical with the Jets receivers, jamming them at the line almost all game. Hopefully next week when Tony Sparano returns to his former home, Miami, the Jets can game plan to fix this, see Darrelle Revis and Dustin Keller return, and come home with a victory.
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