The Jets offensive breakthrough of last week lasted into the second quarter of Sunday’s game with the Steelers.
They led 10-6 after two scoring drives in two tries and looked fairly sharp on their way up and down the field in both cases. Things came screeching to a halt at that point, however. Sanchez would complete just 5-of-19 passes from that point and the Jets barely moved the ball while the Steelers put things together for a 27-10 win that evened their record at 1-1.
Pittsburgh’s pass rush made a big difference in the game. They sacked Sanchez twice and provided a lot more pressure than Buffalo could muster in the opener. Sanchez has never played well when faced with a lot of pressure and Sunday was no different as his throws lost accuracy in the face of Pittsburgh’s defense. It looked for a moment like Tim Tebow, who didn’t play at all on offense in the first half, might spark the team with a 22-yard run on his first play in the third quarter, but the Jets quickly went back to running on the treadmill.
The Steelers, meanwhile, did what we’re used to seeing the Steelers do on offense. Ben Roethlisberger kept plays alive long enough to make completions down the field, including a 37-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace that saw Antonio Cromartie misplay what looked like a desperate heave into the end zone. The Steelers then closed out the game with a 10:12 drive that resulted in an Isaac Redman score. That drive was helped by a botched call by the officials, one of two egregious errors in the game, but the Jets defense was out of gas and the only thing that might have changed was the final score.
Pittsburgh took the lead just before halftime, but they really took control of the game in the second half and the Jets didn’t have much of a chance once they did.