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OVERALL GAME GRADE: D
The theme this week when talking about the Jets defense will be their conditioning. The defense was absolutely gassed in the fourth quarter and it showed with poor tackling in the run game, something that hasn't happened often in the Rex Ryan era.
Ben Roethlisberger tore apart the middle of the field all game as extended playing time for Isiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster went as expected.
The defense missed at least three sacks on Roethlisberger, bouncing off the huge signal-caller all day.
The defense couldn't get off the field and was visibly exhausted when the team needed a stop. They weren't helped by a replay that should have seen that Ike Redman was stopped in the backfield, but that still was no excuse.
Their tackling was shoddy at best, as this performance looked like it was something you would see in Week 17, not Week 2.
The Mike Wallace touchdown was the result of an atrocious play by Antonio Cromartie. He failed to locate the football, which was thrown up for grabs, and ran past the play. All Cromartie needed to do was either jump to break up the play or push Wallace out of bounds while he was in the air. The slightest contact to Wallace would have resulted in an incompletion and a failed third-down conversion.
LaRon Landry has now missed a sack and committed two personal foul penalties.
On the plus side, the Jets had a nice stop after Jeremy Kerley's fumbled punt.
The Steelers continue to make plays in the passing game as it's clear that the absence of Darrelle Revis has opened up the middle of the field as well as the outside. The team continued to allow yards to the Steelers, but has thus far kept them out of the end zone.
LaRon Landry narrowly avoided two late-hit penalties early int he quarter, but he finally picked one up to put the Steelers inside the 15-yard-line. Landry later couldn't cash in a sack on Ben Roethlisberger as he brushed pass the quarterback on a play that could have forced the Steelers into a field goal attempt instead of a touchdown.
The Jets defensive line has played well, generating two sacks and playing the run very well inside the 10-yard line.
The Jets did well to hold the Steelers to three points on the opening drive as they stopped Ike Redman for two negative runs and dropped Ben Roethlisberger for their first sack of the year. Garrett McIntyre recorded the sack, with Quinton Coples and Demario Davis generating immediate pressure to collapse the pocket.
The Jets gave up too many big plays though. They gave up big chunks of yardage in the passing game and allowed the Steelers to convert an early third down on an end around.
The Jets have been displaying a bend-but-don't-break defense so far as they have given up some big chunks at times, but have come up with the necessary plays to keep the Steelers to just three first quarter points. They need to tighten up their pass coverage and tackling.
Four tackles behind the line of scrimmage have saved them thus far.