The New York Jets (3-3) entered Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) confident – flying high looking to build momentum after an inspiring victory against the Atlanta Falcons last Monday night. Following a 19-6 loss to the Steelers the Jets are now a team trying to regroup as they face a very difficult schedule over the next three weeks.
Offensive Grade: D
On paper the New York Jets offensive line should have dominated the line of scrimmage paving the way for a productive running game. Well as we know by now the games are not played on paper and the Jets offense struggled to establish any type of physical presence. Gang Green only rushed for 83 yards while the passing game was out of sync throughout the game.
A portion of the Jets failures on offense can be attributed to predictable/questionable play calling, while the rest came down to execution by the players. Overall it was a very disappointing performance for the entire unit starting with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
Defensive Grade: C
Heading into the game the New York Jets defense was expected to stop the run and then focus their attention on the passing game. The plan went as expected as Gang Green held the Steelers to 73 rushing yards. Unfortunately for the Jets the pass defense fell apart as Ben Roethlisberger (23-for-30, 264 yards, 1 touchdown) and the Pittsburgh air attack repeatedly burned Gang Green. The Jets defensive line did their best to generate pressure (4 sacks), but the unit failed to wrap up Big Ben and take him to the ground when it mattered the most.
The New York secondary struggled in coverage as Antonio Brown (9 catches, 86 yards) and Heath Miller (6 catches, 84 yards) made plays all over the field. There were several culprits in the Jets defensive backfield including Pro-Bowler Antonio Cromartie. Gang Green’s secondary must clean up their mental mistakes as they face more prolific passing attacks in the weeks to come.
Quarterback Grade : D
If last Monday night was a high for rookie quarterback Geno Smith, then Sunday was another low for the Jets signal caller. Smith once again struggled with his decision making as he had two costly red zone interceptions taking away scoring opportunities for his team. Geno (19-for-34, 201 yards) struggled with accuracy at times and did not consistently react well to pressure in the pocket.
Special Teams Grade: B
Nick Folk once again was perfect as he made both of his kicks including a 39-yarder. Punter Ryan Quigley had an average of 40.1 yards while the return game had another nondescript performance.
Fell into the trap
This match-up had trap game written all over it as the Jets were coming off of an emotional high while Pittsburgh was chomping at the bit following a bye. Gang Green did not seem to match the Steelers emotion and physicality, which in the end led to their demise. It is going to be very interesting to see how Rex Ryan rallies his young players against some very formidable opponents in the weeks to come. Next up for Rex and the Jets is the New England Patriots next Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
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Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.