Steelers’ record: 1-1
One year ago: 1-1
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 18-4
Even in the very earliest stages of an NFL season, there will be matchups where the outcome is more important to one team than it is to the other. Sure, everybody on both teams wants to win the game, but situations can arise where it means more to one of them. That was how this game set up for the Steelers and the Jets. Only 13 percent of teams that begin the season 0-2 make the playoffs, and with the Steelers at 0-1 and playing at home, this was cast as a game they had to win.
According to Jets Coach Rex Ryan, the turning point would be the third-and-16 play from the Jets 37-yard line early in the third quarter where
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
The New York Jets had 10 offensive possessions in the game. They scored a touchdown on their first and a field goal on their second. On their other eight, they punted six times and had the clock run out on them at the end of each half. And in the second half, their offense crossed midfield only once.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
* The Steelers caught a break on the Jets second offensive possession. On a first down from the Pittsburgh 24-yard line, Mark Sanchez used a play-action rollout to get outside the pocket, and he had Santonio Holmes open in the end zone. Sanchez missed Holmes, and the Jets settled for a 38-yard field goal from Nick Folk and a 10-6 lead early in the second quarter.
* On two different third down situations in the first half, the Steelers removed their outside linebackers and went with a 4-2-5 alignment in which the front consisted of
* It was a third-and-16 from the Jets 37-yard line early in the third quarter when Ben Roethlisberger took his first shot deep down the field. He went for Mike Wallace who was running down the right sideline with Antonio Cromartie in tight coverage. The ball was just a tad underthrown, but it allowed Wallace to cut inside Cromartie and make the catch along the sideline for the touchdown.
* On the punt that followed a successful challenge of the spot of the ball by Jets coach Rex Ryan, New York returner Jeremy Kerley had
* It was a third-and-3 at the Jets 23-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. The formation had
WHAT WENT WRONG
* Once again, the Steelers defense allowed a score on the possession immediately following a score by their offense. After
* Coach Mike Tomlin says often that defending the wildcat demands the defense to follow the rules that are in place for dealing with that. The Jets didn’t use Tim Tebow at quarterback until the second half, and on each of his first two snaps he ran the read-option. On the first of those two plays, Tebow kept the ball and ran for 22 yards; on the next play he handed to Joe McKnight who ran for 12 more.
* After a 32-yard punt by the Jets gave the Steelers the ball at the Pittsburgh 49-yard line,
A STRONG CASE FOR LIKING IKE
Within the New York Jets media release this week was an item that cited statistics from StatsPass to rank the most efficient cornerbacks during the last two NFL seasons.
Burn percentage tracks how a defensive player performs in defending passes in which he is targeted. A burn occurs when a targeted defensive player allows a completed pass.
According to StatsPass, the NFL’s most efficient cornerback in 2011 was