The Jets suffered a loss today dropping their record to 3-3 heading into a key divisional matchup with the Patriots next week. They were not able to mount a furious 4th quarter comeback to overcome a 13 point deficit. Here are the quick hits:
1) Geno hits a bump in the road – Geno Smith was under pressure from the Steelers and while willing to take what the defense gave him but he did seem uncomfortable. He was 8-12 for 81 yards in the 1st half going to backs and tight ends early then involving his wide receivers in his 51 yard drive in 43 seconds to get a field goal when they would have normally kneeled. In the second half he was leading a scoring drive when he threw an interception on an awful ball into triple coverage intended for Reuland. He finished 18/30 for 192 yards and 2 interceptions both deep in the Pittsburgh territory. These games are to be expected and part of the growing pains of a rookie quarterback. He looked better today than in his previous losses and was very decisive with his throws. Cumberland had 4 catches for 59 yards, Gates had 5 catches for 36 yards while Hill had 3 catches for 46 yards.
2) Offensive line offensive – In the 1st half the Pittsburgh Steelers won the line of scrimmage here as Smith was sacked three times two on 3rd down to end drives. The pressure was coming from the outside around Ferguson and Howard. The line didn’t fare much better in the running game rushing for only 3.3 yards per carry in the first half. In the 2nd half runs from Powell and Ivory got the average up closer to 4 yards per carry. Powell finished with 9 carries for 30 yards while Ivory was 4 carries for 16 yards and Goodson was 3 carries for 11 yards.
3) Big Ben heats up – Ben Roethlisberger heated up as the game went along finishing 23-30 for 264 yards and a touchdown including 11-12 after starting 1-4. The Jets had a very difficult time covering Antonio Brown and Heath Miller who both had big halves. If Brown didn’t drop a touchdown pass the Jets would have fallen further behind. To start the second half Emmanuel Sanders beat Cromartie on a long touchdown pass. Cromartie did not play well at all. Brown finished with 9 catches for 86 yards and Miller had 6 catches for 84 yards. The pass rush did get sacks from Wilkerson, McIntyre and one shared by Douzable and Pace. They also hit Roethlisberger 8 times with Wilkerson and Coples registering pressure among others.
4) Jets run defense dominates again – The Steelers ran 9 times for 12 carries for an average of 1.3 yards per carry in the first half. They ran 25 times for 71 yards overall. Sheldon Richardson, Leger Douzable, and David Harris were among those very active.
5) Injuries – Santonio Holmes once again did not play due to a balky hamstring neither did Dee Milliner. Antonio Cromartie suited up despite a hyper-extended knee. Levi Brown injured himself in warmups. Hill injured his chest but returned right after the half. Gates left the game in the 4th quarter with a finger injury and did not return.
6) Miscellaneous – This was the first of a four game suspension of Kellen Winslow for performance enhancing drugs.