Well, that was one stinking pile of horse manure.
The Jets are just 4-18 all-time against the Steelers, so this was a tough spot to begin with, but this game was much more than one team simply having the other team's number.
Playing without Darrelle Revis, the Jets chose to play a conservative zone defense for a majority of the game, allowing Ben Roethlisberger to pick apart their defense one eight-yard pass at a time.
The Jets run defense, which had been stout in the early going, failed them miserably during a 14-play drive that ate up nearly the entire fourth quarter and resulted in the game's final score. On the drive, Issac Redman touched the ball on seven of the 14 plays and scored the touchdown.
On offense, Mark Sanchez came out on fire, leading the Jets to 10 points on the team's first two drives.
However, after taking a helmet to the jaw that resulted in a personal foul penalty, Sanchez was not the same. He lost his accuracy and confidence and struggled in every aspect of the game.
The absence of Revis and Dustin Keller played a large role, but then again, the Steelers were without their two best defensive stars and did just fine, so no excuses there.
The wide receivers did more harm than good, LaRon Landry was out of control and the Jets were just 4-for-12 on third downs.
It was an ugly performance, but here's the instant impact nonetheless:
Champ of the Game: Garrett McIntyre
To be quite honest, McIntyre looked like the only player on the defense who wasn't completely gassed by the start of the fourth quarter. McIntyre had two sacks, six tackles and was active from start to finish. Performances like this will cause McIntyre to play ahead of Aaron Maybin, Demario Davis and Bryan Thomas by the middle of the season, if not sooner.
Chump of the Game: LaRon Landry
After two games it is quite evident Jets fans are going to have to take the good and the bad with Landry. On one hand, you have to love his aggressive style, but you also have to deal with the mistakes. Landry had two personal foul penalties and also overran Roethlisberger on what would have been a critical sack in the second quarter.
Defensive Star: Yeremiah Bell
It's tough to pick a defensive star out of the secondary after they were systematically picked apart by Roethlisberger, but Bell simply did what he was brought in here to do. He had his hand in on 10 total tackles and came close to coming up with a late turnover that could have reversed the Jets' fortunes. Bell has shortcomings in pass coverage, and did give up some receptions today, but he played hard and did his job well.
Offensive Star: Shonn Greene
Greene's stat line may not have been impressive, but he was just gaining momentum before his head injury. On the Jets' final scoring drive of the game, Greene ran the ball four times for 20 yards and was giving the Jets offense a personality. It was a shame he suffered the injury when he did, and Bilal Powell filled in admirably in his absence, but give Greene credit for running hard and also surprisingly returning to the game after his injury.
Special Teams Star: Roger Malone
Malone booted six punts for an average of 45.3 yards. He had one punt downed inside the 20 and it should have been two if not for Isaiah Trufant's lack of body control. Three of his six punts went for over 50 yards.
Greene was knocked out of the game early in the second quarter with a head injury. He was seen jogging to the locker room to be evaluated for a possible concussion but returned fine in the second half.
John Conner left the game in the second half with a knee injury. He will have an MRI tomorrow on a possible MCL injury.
Turning Point of the Game
With the Steelers up 13-10, half way through the third quarter, Pittsburgh was facing a 3rd-and-16 from the Jets 37 yard line. Roethlisberger heaved a pass towards Mike Wallace in the end zone, who was covered one-on-one by Antonio Cromartie. Wallace leaped for the ball and landed with both feet in bounds as Cromartie looked like he was chasing butterflies through the meadows.
If Cromartie would have even gently nudged Wallace, he would have come down out of bounds, probably forcing a Steelers punt. Instead, it was 20-10 and the game was effectively over from there.
Revis Island Report
The Jets missed Revis as everyone knew they would. His absence forced the Jets to play a conservative zone and Roethlisberger made them pay for it. No word on any possible availability for next week.
The Rookie Report
Stephen Hill did not register on the stat sheet after a great performance last week. The only pass he had a chance on was a deep throw knocked away by Ryan Clark.
Demario Davis put immediate pressure on Roethlisberger on a 3rd-and-7 on the Steelers opening drive, causing the quarterback to step up into a sack by McIntyre.
Quinton Coples and Davis were in the backfield a couple of times, but either bounced off of Roethlisberger while trying to sack him or were a second too slow in making a play. They continue to be works in progress.
Best Coaching Move
The coaching staff made the right call in putting Tim Tebow in to give the offense a spark immediately after the touchdown to Wallace. The offense did nothing on consecutive drives after the Nick Folk field goal, so they used Tebow for what he was brought here for.
Tebow ran 22 yards on his only carry and then ran a read-option, handing to Joe McKnight for a 12-yard gain.
After Greene was then dropped for a six-yard loss, Tebow was removed and never heard from again.
The good move was giving him a shot, but they should have tried him again at some point while it was still a game.
NFL Personality Tweet of the Game: Damien Woody
@damienwoody Man....ppl need to chill.... Y'all acting like the Jets is getting blown out! They get the ball 2nd half, let's see if they can cook
Joe Namath's Tweet of the Game
After Rex Ryan challenged his a bad spot on a third-down reception by the Steelers.
@ realjoenamath If they don't change this we need replacement officials to replace the replacement officials.
Great Quote From the Booth
"In real time, Sanchez has three completions in two hours," Jim Nantz, CBS broadcast, with 1:57 left to play in the third quarter.
The Arguing Army Says:
"They should just give Santonio Holmes flags to carry around in his pocket, he pretends to throw one after every play," Mr. Rome, Giants fan.
The Refs Blew This One
With the Jets trailing 20-10 with a little more than seven minutes left to play, the Jets looked like they either stopped Issac Redman in the backfield for a loss or possibly even came up with a strip and fumble recovery by Yeremiah Bell.
It may have been wishful thinking to think that the referees would rule that Bell came up with the ball upon reviewing the play, but there was indisputable evidence that Redman's knee hit the ground in the backfield.
The referees saw neither after a Ryan challenge and five plays later the Steelers scored to make it 27-10.
Mark Sanchez Instant Impact Approval Rating
Week 1: 98.9 percent (174 votes)
Did You Notice?
Jets game captains were Holmes, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sione Pouha, Matt Slauson and Jeff Cumberland.
McIntyre recorded the Jets' first sack of the year. Davis and Coples were also right there adding great pressure on the play.
The Jets wasted no time getting the newly-signed Dedrick Epps into the game. He was in on the team's second play.
Bart Scott, Muhammad Wilkerson, David Harris, Bell, Mike Devito and McIntyre leveled Redman for an eight-yard loss on the Steelers' first drive.
Steelers safety Ryan Clark bit badly on an excellent play fake on Sanchez's first quarter touchdown pass to Holmes.
The Steelers tried a behind-the-back handoff off a fake end-around. It was a well-designed play, but Calvin Pace, Wilkerson and Coples didn't bite.
Clyde Gates became just the third Jets player to wear No. 19 in a game since Keyshawn Johnson's departure in 1999. Chris Davis (2007) and Eron Riley (2011) were the other two.
Sanchez was the one who directed Greene to the sideline after he saw the running back was knocked woozy after a second-quarter hit.
Sanchez was 4-for-5 passing, showing an extremely hot hand to start the game. He took a vicious helmet to the side of the face by Lawrence Timmons and completed just three more passes during the bulk of the game, not counting three meaningless passes in the final minute. One has to wonder if Sanchez may have suffered some type of head injury from the hit.
Konrad Reuland made the first grab of his career on the first play of the second half.
It took six-and-a-half quarters for the Jets to allow their first sack of the season. LaMarr Woodley beat Austin Howard one-on-one on the play. Bilal Powell was lined up on that side of the formation, but bypassed his pass-blocking duties to give Sanchez an out in the flat.
The Steelers had to burn a timeout simply because Tebow did something suspicious in a punt formation. CBS announcer Phil Simms pointed out that a Steelers coach saw Tebow practicing as a receiver before the game and reported that to the team. It didn't matter in this game, but if Tebow's presence causes teams to panic and burn time outs, it says something about what other coaches think of him.
On Kerley's 45-yard reception, Sanchez executed a beautiful pump fake to Steelers safety Ryan Clark in the opposite direction. If not for a shoestring tackle by Keenan Lewis, Kerley could have taken it in for a touchdown.
Simms pointed out that Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor worked out in the offseason with Sanchez and Holmes. Taylor was called for a penalty against Holmes on each of the Jets' first two drives.
Matt Slauson had a great seal block to spring Powell for a 10-yard run his longest of the game.
McIntyre stuck with Will Johnson on pass coverage in the flat, causing Roethlisbeger to pull back on a pass and go to the ground, allowing Pouha to get a sack.
What This Means Now
The loss to the Steelers simply means the schedule is holding form. Most sensible fans who looked at the first two games figured the Jets were most likely looking at a 1-1 start. The Jets have won just one time in Pittsburgh since joining the NFL, so a loss here is nothing new.
The main problem is some of the questions brought on by the game. Are the penalties going to be a trend for the season? Was the lack of defensive conditioning a one-game thing? Was something physically wrong with Sanchez?
The Jets have to bounce back next week against the Dolphins. The Dolphins may be considered one of the bottom teams in the NFL this year, but they have been a giant pain for the Jets in recent years. The Jets are just 2-5 in their past seven games against Miami, who will be feeling good coming off a 35-13 win against the Raiders.
The Jets travel to Miami for their second AFC East showdown of the year for a 1:00 p.m. game against the Dolphins. Although the Dolphins haven't had much success overall in recent years, they have been an annoying thorn in the Jets' collective sides. The Dolphins have won five of the last seven contests against the Jets, including a disastrous 19-17 game in last year's finale. After that, they have back-to-back games against the 49ers and Texans.
Look for RC Cos' Instant Impact immediately following every Jets game this year. Follow RC Cos on Twitter @RcCos14.
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