Sunday, September 16, 2012

Steelers Defeat Jets 27-10 Despite Officiating

I told y'all not to panic.

"Redemption week" part two is in the books and Mike Tomlin, the first Pittsburgh Steelers head coach to go 6-0 in his first 6 home openers, said he expected as much from his "A-players". -

Steelers win at Heinz Field today over the New York Jets, making it the 10th straight home opening victory and 9th straight home win vs. non-divisional opponents. The game wasn't a blowout from the start, though.

The Steelers opened up with a 3-0 lead, but surrendered a 90-yard touchdown drive on the next series. Former Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes was eating up Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor early in the game via drawn penalties and a scoring a 14-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.  

Jeremy Kerley also caught a 45-yard pass over Keenan Lewis in that series.

Neither was heard from the rest of the game.

The Steelers defense was being handled well early, the Jets were averaging 4.0 yards per run, but that changed as the Steelers settled down in the second quarter.

On third downs the Steelers started getting off of the field. After being down 10-6, they started playing what most fans consider Steeler football: defense and ball control.

On defense, Ike Taylor played great defense on Santonio Holmes, breaking up pass and forcing punts. On offense, Big Ben was shrugging off rushers saying, "GET OFF ME!"

Jonathan Dwyer showed he had good feet and good hands as a receiver by making a shoestring catch for 12 yards and a first down. Redman also started looking more like Redman as the game progressed as well.

Speaking of defense, Ryan Mundy (5 tackles) and Ryan Clark (team-high 8) combined for 13 of 44 Steeler tackles. They swapped positions throughout the game, playing free and strong safety. One time Clark cuts down a runner in the backfield, another time Ryan Mundy knocks Jets running back Shonn Greene out of the game.

Ryan Clark's return was triumphant as he reminded us how much we missed him and earned Steelers Digest Player of the Week. -

Antonio Cromartie was pretty much watching Mike Wallace man-to-man, while Kyle Wilson, starting in place of Darrelle Revis, was on Antonio Brown. Neither had much success.

Roethlisberger threw a 37-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace who had five catches for 74 yards on the day, and Antonio Brown caught seven balls for 79 yards. Even taking shots, the receivers went on undaunted.

Asked about LaRon Landry's hit on him after a catch, Brown said, "Good hit, good catch. I've got a reputation, too"

LaMarr Woodley got his first sack of the season on third down early in third quarter, helping to back up his guarantee of a win. After the game, he let Steelers fans know about it.

Woodley tweeted: "I told yall we wouldn't be 0-2!! LOL.. We got back 2 playin @steelers football 2day.. appreciate all the noise @ heinz!!"

The worst part of the day was the officiating. We're not normally one's to bash the officials, but Sunday was just awful. Case in point, a phantom pass interference call in the third quarter on Ike Taylor, the second of the day.

On the two questionable pass interference calls, Ike Taylor said, "Them [refs] got a difficult job as is. I can't worry about what they call, I just play football."

Maybe I'm wrong, I might have been looking through Black and Gold colored glasses. You tell me if you see a pass interference on this sequence.

Yeah, exactly.

The true player of the game, though, was Ben Roethlisberger, who has now thrown four TD passes this season - two to tight end Heath Miller and two to WR Mike Wallace.

Big Ben Roethlisberger had a sizzling 144.7 passer rating into the second half,  158.3 is a perfect rating going 15 of 19 for 196, 2 TDs and no interceptions.

Big Ben would eventually cool down, but not by much. Ben had the highest quarterback rating (125.1) for a Jets opponent since Tom Brady in December of 2010. Jets coach Rex Ryan wasn't too thrilled that Big Ben's passer rating was 2nd highest ever vs. the Jets. To put it in perspective, the other was by Dan Marino in 1986 when he passed for 448 yards and six touchdowns.

Big Ben passed the 27,000 yard barrier, being only the second Steelers QB to do so. I'm told the other guy was someone named Bradshaw. Big Ben is due to pass that guy's career mark in only a few more games at this current pace.


TIDBITS: Good hustle by newest Steeler, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, showed his speed on a muffed Jets punt that Ryan Mundy recovers at Jets 42 yard line late in the game.

Sanchez went zero for his last five passes of the first half after a 4-for-5 start. He, in real time, went about two hours between completed passes in one stretch.

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Rex Ryan on the Steelers defense: "They did a great job of press coverage. They have really big physical corners" No more huffing and puffing?