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Lack of pass rush leads to epic loss by Jets in Pittsburgh

Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass under pressure from New York Jets defensive lineman Steve McLendon (99) during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass under pressure from New York Jets defensive lineman Steve McLendon (99) during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports /
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The defense of the New York Jets couldn’t do much against the talented receiving group of Pittsburgh.  However, the pass rush didn’t do much to help at all.

Frankly, the pass rush of the New York Jets hasn’t been there since Week 1.  In Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals, they were able to get to quarterback Andy Dalton seven times.  Since the Week 1 tilt against Cincinnati, they have just four sacks.

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One of the keys to this game was to get to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  However, not getting to him allowed him to pick their secondary apart. Roethlisberger was able to find his secondary target, Sammie Coates, and constantly check it down to running back Le’Veon Bell.

They torched the Jets for 15 catches, 227 yards, and two touchdowns. The rest of the team had 19 catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

There’s no excuse for not being able to get to Roethlisberger.  The Steelers were banged up on the offensive line, and the Jets are supposed to have excellent pass rushers.

Maybe the Week 1 game was a mirage.  The only difference between 2015 and 2016, is that the Jets don’t have one person dominating on the defensive line like Muhammad Wilkerson did last season.

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Another key is the Jets aren’t getting takeaways to mask the deficiency in their defensive line.  The fumble recovered by defensive end Sheldon Richardson was only the third takeaway of the season.  Through five games in 2015, the Jets had 15.

Obviously, getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers would help the Jets tremendously.  However, they haven’t shown an ability to do either, especially since Week 1.

A pass rush helps the secondary a lot.  It can lead to ill-timed throws, poor throws, etc.  In addition, it sets the offense back and helps in the field position game.

It’s extremely difficult to maintain coverage in the time they gave Big Ben.  Furthermore, an all-time great quarterback will always find holes in a defense, if given the time.

All in all, the lack of pass rush against good teams will lead to where the team sees itself, and that’s 1-4.  Since they aren’t generating turnovers, the field position must be flipped in another manner.

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As a result of not having a consistent pass rush, their season is now on the brink.  Unfortunately, it may be time to look to 2017.

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