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Week 2: Jets @ Steelers: Cause For Concern?

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In yesterday’s 27-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets offense was summoned back to earth from their week one high. The Jets struggled offensively for most of the afternoon. They failed to convert on critical third downs and watched helplessly on the sidelines as the Pittsburgh offense chewed up valuable clock. The week two loss was certainly not what the Jets had in mind. They needed this game to send a big message to the league and their critics. But as many teams witnessed first hand yesterday (including them PATRIOTS), it’s a tough league to win in and everyone has their hiccups.

On their opening drive the Jets looked like they had not lost a beat from a week ago. Mark Sanchez orchestrated a beautiful eight play, nine minute drive that he capped with a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. Later in the half, with the Jets threatening to put another touchdown on the board, Sanchez missed a wide open Holmes in the end zone. The missed throw would prove to be costly as the Jets settled for a field goal and ultimately their last points of the game. For the remainder of the afternoon, the Jet got nothing going in the run game and the receivers could not get open as the Pittsburgh cornerbacks decided to play them tight at the line of scrimmage.

The Jets defense played well but struggled to get off the field as the Steelers went on drives of 15 minutes, 11 minutes and 14 minutes. They looked strong early but certainly missed having all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. His ability to take away half of the field was noticeably missed. Ben Roethlisberger did a great job spreading the ball around, completing 24 passes to 10 different receivers. He made plays that we have grown accustom to seeing him make, eluding rushers and extending plays. Several times the Jets had Big Ben trapped in the backfield only to see him escape and convert on another third down.

The Jets played poorly and they will need to improve offensively but there should not be panic in Jets land. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been the toughest team in the league to beat at home in recent memory. They were coming off a tough loss and the Jets caught them on a tough weekend. Next up for the Jets are the Miami Dolphins (1-1). This is a game that the Jets must have. With tough games against Houston and San Francisco ahead, the Jets must win against the less formidable opponents.

A week two loss is NOT a cause for concern. Some of the better teams in the league (Ravens, Patriots, Packers) have losses attached to their records also. With Miami next on the schedule, the Jets have a good chance of heading into a rough two game stint with a winning record. The Jets cannot afford a mental lapse against Miami, who is coming off a week two win against Oakland. They must keep themselves in striking distance within the division. Miami has explosive weapons and a talented rookie quarterback so the Jets cannot take this game lightly.

Side Notes: On a third down play, with the Jets driving, Sanchez threw an incompletion to Santonio Holmes that was clearly miscommunication by the two. Holmes threw his hands up in frustration and was clearly dismissive of Sanchez after the play. This type of reaction from Holmes does nothing good for the Jets offense and more particular Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is a quarterback that plays on emotion. When things are going well he plays with confidence. When things aren’t going so great and teammates are being unsportsmanlike, as Holmes was, Sanchez tends to start making mistakes and playing with a cautiousness that hinders him. The Jets can ill afford another locker room dispute. If you ask me Santonio needs to start acting like a professional and like a teammate. Have your quarterback’s back and stop acting like the second coming of Terrell Owens. That’s the last thing this offense needs Santonio!