Hopes were high as the Jets rolled into Heinz field off the back of a 48-28 demolition of the Bills, with the Steelers looking to avoid opening up 0-2 after last weeks opening defeat to the Peyton Manning led Broncos. History doesn't favour the Jets at Heinz field, as they have only tasted victory on one occasion, on the other hand the Steelers were looking to extend their winning record during home-openers to ten. Both teams were without influential players, The Jets found themselves without Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller and Bryan Thomas, the Steelers took to the field without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison.
Both teams opening drive yielded points, with the Steelers striking first with a ten play drive resulting in 45 yard field goal. The Jets replied with a 90 yard drive that included a 45 yards completion to Jeremy Kerley before a strike to Santonio Holmes for a 14 yard touchdown. Field goals were traded during a scrappy first half as the Steelers struggled to run the ball. Predictable first down calls (run up the middle) yielded little for the Jets despite the change of personnel due to injury (Greene). The Jets bought pressure on numerous occasions flushing Roethlisberger out of the pocket, resulting in Roethlisberger being forced to play to his strengths, inevitably resulting in a touchdown as Roethlisberger connected with tight end Heath Miller as the Steelers hit the locker room up 13-10.
A game that looked like it could go either way soon took on a worrying trend for those in the Green and white. Holmes became more concerned about getting flags than yards, Sanchez struggled to connect with his receivers (no catches for Hill). The Jets continued failure to wrap up the man when tackling hurt them as the Steelers continued to gain valuable yards after the initial contact, which in turn took valuable time of the clock. Momentum swung when Kerley who appeared more concerned with the ensuing hit took his eye of the ball during a punt, resulting in a fumble which the Steelers recovered. The Steelers extended their lead in the third quarter (20-10) as Roethlisberger connected with Mike Wallace in the corner of the end zone with Cromartie in coverage (in my opinion Cromartie failed to locate the ball, he was watching the man).
The fourth quarter was painful to watch as the Steelers took control. Roethlisberger remained elusive even with the pocket collapsing around him as he marched the Steelers on a ten minute game sealing drive sealed via a 2 yard Redman rush making the score 27-10. Sanchez and even the introduction of Tebow failed to muster up anything on the Jets offense as the Jets limped toward the finish. The result is especially disappointing as at the half it was there for taking, the Steelers simply put in a solid team effort rather than having to relie on an inspired performance by any individual(s). You simply won't win many games with Holmes, Kerley, Hill, Sanchez and Greene contributing lack luster performances.
The Majority had the Jets down for a loss and currently stand as predicted after the first two games with a record of 1-1, up next the Jets take on Miami in a must win game before facing sterner tests in the form of the 49ers and Texans. Follow us on twitter @nyjoverthepond and visit us again at www.nyjetsoverthepond.com