Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Jets 10 - 27 Steelers- Bullet Point Review

1. Unstoppable- A lot of things will be said about this game, and a lot of it will be about the Jets. Praise and blame will be aportioned, sometimes fairly, sometimes not. Make no mistake, however, one thing governed this game and prduced this result more than any other, and it's not even close. That thing? Ben Roethlisberger turned up to play. Time and time again he escaped the rush and fit perfect throws into tight coverage, all without any running game and shaky protection. The Steelers want to be a team that bullies you on defense and runs the ball down your throats, but when push comes to shove they can put the game on Big Ben's arm, sit back and watch the fireworks.

2. Full Court Press- Ben's younger counterpart had a frustrating day. Despite getting good protection, especially early in the game, Mark Sanchez was forced to throw the ball away or into impossible areas time and time again as his receivers struggled to get open. Stephen Hill seemed utterly unable to get off press coverage, Santonio Holmes drew some penalties but ultimately lost the physical battle with Ike Taylor, Jeremy Kerley seemed to totally lose confidence after a muffed punt, and Jeff Cumberland had a rough day coming in for Dustin Keller. Sanchez will get a ton of heat from box score analysts for his abysmal completion percentage, but in reality he made a lot of good throws that hit the turf when the receiver had a shot at it. One good thing about Sanchez's performance? He avoided costly mistakes, threw no picks and avoided sacks on multiple occasions.

3. Cornering the market- The Steelers are going with a youth movement at corner, and it paid off today. Ike Taylor had some bad penalties, but the likes of Lewis and Allen did a great job of blanketing their men.

4. Running Scared- The Jets offensive struggles were founded on their deeply uninspiring run game. Nick Mangold et al were doing a decent job up front, but Shonn Greene just isn't making anyone miss. Powell is a serviceable alternative, but if the Jets really want to threaten on the ground they have to gamble on incorporating the more mercurial Joe McKnight into a more significant role. The Jets know that the fumble prone McKnight is a risk to generate turnovers, but it's a risk they have to take if their more reliable running backs aren't even close to pushing four yards a carry.

5.  Rising Ryan- Ryan Clark has long been overshadowed by the more flamboyant Troy Polomalu. Not so on Sunday- Clark made a number of pivotal plays that underscored just how badly he was missed in week one.

6. Wherefore the Wildcat?- There were three wildcat plays on Sunday, including the Jets two best runs of the night, from Tebow and McKnight respectively. What's the point of spending a fourth round pick on a wildcat quarterback when you're not going to use him even in the situation you need him most? Rex, if you believe in it, use it.

7.  A win for Woodley- Lamar Woodley had a huge game for the Steelers, increasingly getting the better of Austin Howard as the game went on. Jets fans shouldn't panic though- few right tackles can consistently contend with Woodley, and Howard did a decent job of at least slowing him down.

8. Guards! Guards!- The Jets did one very confusing thing last night. Despite there being no indication that Slauson was injured, he was rotated out of the line for 10 offensive snaps, ostensibly because backup Vlad Ducasse has "earned the right to play". I don't get it- if Slauson is the better player, he shouldn't have to leave the field.

9.  Black and white and ref all over- Let's face it, it was a rough day for the replacement refs. The worst decision on the field undoubtedly went against Pittsburgh when Ike Taylor was called for a phantom pass inteference on Holmes. However, the most unfrogiveable decision came on a run that was challenged by Rex Ryan. Not only did the video ref miss that McIntyre had successfully brought the runner's knee down two yards behind the line, he also missed that Yeremiah Bell had ripped it out before the runner went down for good. The Refs had made two poor calls on the field, but both were inexplicably allowed to stand even on video review.

10.  A Star is Born?- The Jets got a lot of good performances tonight. However, none was more impressive, or more surprising, than that of former UDFA, AFL and CFL player Garrett McIntyre. He made a number of huge plays on running backs behind the line of scrimmage, and picked up a couple of sacks. The first was nothing more than good motor, but  the second was special. McIntyre beat Max Starks, the experiend left tackle, and fought through an impromptu double team when the running back chipped in, before bring Roethlisberger to the turf. The Jets need an every down player who can rush the passer, and if the notoriously hard working McIntyre can ball out like this every week then the ageing Thomas need never re-enter the line-up. McIntyre has been on four different NFL rosters in his career, and once admitted that Jets camp in 2011 was probably his last chance to make a roster in the NFL. He survived the bubble, and the Jets may be rewarded for showing so much patience with the 27 year old out of Fresno State.

No comments:

Post a Comment