Mark Sanchez laid a 14-yard beauty in the hands of Santonio Holmes in the first quarter. It was all downhill from there.
After coming off a surprising and explosive offensive performance in week one that appeared to stun fans and critics all around the league, the Jets showed a clear weakness in their offensive ability against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The Jets had previously scored 48 points in their home opener against the Buffalo Bills. There was hope that the they would carry their offensive spark into future games and prove themselves against heavier defenses. Sadly, that spark ended in the first quarter.
The spark was lost soon after RB Shonn Greene left the game with a head injury. Greene carried the ball seven times for 23 yards in the Jets’ first two drives, but was forced to leave the game in the second quarter after a brutal hit by Pittsburgh’s Ryan Mundy after a 9-yard game. Greene returned in the third quarter, but neither he nor the Jets made an impact on the rest of the game.
Sanchez completed a total of ten passes the entire game, with four of them completed on the opening drive. The Jets were just 4 for 12 in third down conversions, limiting their time of possession to a severe minimum. The defense played no better, as they let up 8 out of 15 first down attempts. When the Jets needed a stop, tackles were missed and penalties were called. After a huge first game, LaRon Landry crashed this week committing two 15-yard penalties (horse collar tackle and a late hit) and missed a would-be sack on QB Ben Roethlisberger. Antonio Cromartie had significant trouble in covering wide out Antonio Brown, who caught an under-thrown touchdown pass by Roethlisberger to put the Steelers in the lead just before the half. Roethlisberger finished with 219 yards in their 27-10 victory.
Hopefully this is just a hiccup in the system for the New York Jets. Sanchez, and the rest of the offense, must ignite their spark in future games in order for the team to have a fighting chance in the AFC East.