The Steelers win the toss and seeing as we only have 2 captains, Ben says he wants the ball.
The Steelers must have thought the Jets were weak on the edge because right off the bat they try 3 plays to the outside: a WR screen, a run to the outside, then an end-around to AB that he takes for 9 yards and a first down. Ben gets rolling by hitting Wallace on a nice come-back route then goes to Will Johnson out of the backfield who rumbles down the sideline for 26 yards to get us down to the Jets 25.
Sanchez starts the game with a good throw to Holmes on 3rd and 9 to move the sticks on a come-back route. Two plays later, Holmes draws a flag by begging for one after a bad throw. Holmes calls for more flags than any receiver in the league. Pretty much every pass he doesn't catch his hand goes up asking for one. He did it when he was here too. Sanchez takes advantage of an angry Steelers defense and hits a pass right down the seam to move the Jets down to the red zone. On 3rd down, Sanchez goes play-action and the safeties bite up and he zips one to Holmes on a slant for a touchdown.
Penalty kept that drive alive.
Ben comes right back to AB then Redman carries us out to midfield. Brown turns one upfield and gets us to the fringe of field goal range. Haley makes his first downright awful play call on 3rd and 4 when he tries a behind-the-back handoff to Rainey, but it's snuffed out in the backfield.
The crowd was unhappy through the quarter break, but Suisham puts things back in order by hitting his second 45-yard field goal.
The refs give the Jets another gift on their second drive when Sanchez rolls out then runs forward and throws right before he hits the line and gets walloped by Lawrence Timmons.
Two plays later, Holmes draws another flag on Ike to move into Steelers territory.
Coach with the perfect summation of how everyone felt about these refs.
The Steelers respond by going 3-and-out, including a second down sack of Ben.
The defense finally gets some pressure on Sanchez and he starts to look like the Mark Sanchez we all know and love, missing some throws badly.
Ben takes over with just under 7 minutes to play and goes to work. Passes to Pope and Dwyer get us to the 40 then Ben converts a 3rd and long with a pass to Sanders. Ben goes right back to Manny and hits him in stride, enabling him to turn down the sideline and take off for 20. On top of the play, Sanders gets bumped out of bounds and it's enough to draw a late hit flag. Dwyer works it down to the 7 then Ben stands in and hits Cotch who takes a big hit but hangs on to the ball at the 1.
The Jets get the ball to start the second half so they just run the last minute off the clock.
The Jets got the ball to start the second half, and if you felt a little nervous, you weren't alone. Thankfully, Mark Sanchez is Mark Sanchez. Woodley annihilates a tackle and blasts Sanchez for his first sack of the season.
Ben goes right to work hitting AB across the middle and gets the bonus of a personal foul penalty on the end of the run. The drive goes backwards from there when Dwyer gets stacked up in the backfield on 2nd down. On 3rd and 16, Ben does his Ben thing and makes a fool out of David Harris, stepping right past him in the pocket and chucks one downfield for Wallace who is locked up with Cromartie in the end zone. Cromartie keeps running when Wallace stops and leaps for the ball...
And comes down just inside the sideline for the touchdown.
Man...what a player.
Replay holds it up. TOUCHDOWN.
The Jets respond with the Tebowcat and rip off two big runs. Ryan Clark has seen enough and slashes into the backfield to stop that garbage in it's tracks. Sanchez returns and plays like the Mark Sanchez we all love. The Jets pin us back inside the 5.
In a strange 3rd down sequence, Sanders gets an extremely generous spot from the refs and it is initially ruled a first down (by a hair) after measurement. Then Rex challenges and the refs move the ball back and decide to re-measure and it's short by a yard. Drew Butler makes a nice punt that the Jets muff and Ryan Mundy falls on it, giving us great field position in Jets territory.
The drive can't get going and Rainey drops a screen pass on 3rd down, and Butler comes back out. The Jets send the house at him but Butler stands in and sticks one inside the 10. No points off the turnover, but that was a huge kick by Butler to stand in under pressure and pin the Jets deep.
Mark Sanchez sucks. The Jets run Tebow out with the punt team and he starts giving hand signals so the Steelers spend a timeout to put their defense back on the field. Good move. The Jets punt anyway.
The offense spends the first two downs going backwards with penalties and negative plays and eventually find themselves in 3rd and 32. Ben hits AB on a post route for 25 yards that is still well short of the sticks.
Sanchez tries to hit Holmes on a post by Ryan Clark delivers a perfect hit to knock the ball out and there's a flag. Everyone thinks it's going to be on Clark but they call pass interference on Ike.
First off, Ike never touched Holmes. Second, Holmes caught the pass and Clark knocked it out. Not sure how you can call Pass Interference when the receiver gets his hands on the ball.
The defense is livid after that, and rightfully so. They start undercutting routes and knocking balls away and it's curtains for the Jets.
The offense comes out and puts together the best drive of the Mike Tomlin era. Flat out dominant. 14 plays, 80 yards, 10 minutes off the clock. Ice it. The running game didn't do anything all game, but Redman and Dwyer combined for 45 yards on this drive alone. Redman put up his longest run of the day on a 3rd and 1 and showed off some nice moves on a check-down pass where he made some guys miss and went for 14 yards. AB lit up the crowd by climbing the ladder for a ball and taking a shot from Landry.
What a catch.
That was our longest scoring drive since 2007. Boom.
The next drive is summed up by me telling the guy sitting next to me "I love Mark Sanchez" and him saying "He sucks SO BAD." Good times.
The Steelers go run-run-run and take two more minutes off the clock. Rex decides not to use his time outs. The last minute was just a formality of Mark Sanchez suckitude and the refs throwing flags everywhere. I wonder if the NFL is paying them hourly?
Cam Heyward ends the game with a sack.
Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Heath Miller
Defensive Game Ball: Ryan Clark
- The Steelers 10-minute drive that consumed most of the 4th quarter was their longest scoring drive since 2007. To make things even better, they capped it off with the first rushing touchdown of the season.
- The Steelers have now won 10 consecutive home openers. Ben Roethlisberger has yet to lose a home opener.
- All Antonio Brown does is make big plays.
- For as optimistic as I was about the play-calling after Week 1, I am disappointed after Week 2. Haley called some really questionable plays, including low-percentage plays on 3rd and medium. The behind-the-back handoff to Rainey was awful and for some reason he insists on running Redman outside.
- The running game looked awful at the start of the game but really came around by the last drive when Redman racked up 34 yards and Dwyer added 11 more. To put that in perspective, the Steelers had 66 yards rushing all game, and 45 of those came on the final drive.
- The fade pass to Heath Miller over Yeremiah Bell was a brilliant play call and fantastic execution. I love that Heath is finally getting the looks he deserves in the offense. Two touchdowns in two weeks is as many scores as he had all of last season.
- Mike Wallace obviously didn't need training camp, but he does need a new contract. He doesn't deserve Fitz/Megatron money but he certainly deserves Vincent Jackson/Miles Austin money.
- How good was it to have Ryan Clark back on the field? He was flying around, making tackles, and keeping the defense in order.
- Mark Sanchez sucks.
- Baltimore and New England lost, which is always a good thing. Better yet, they play each other next week so one of them will be 1-2.
- Don't sleep on Oakland. We always struggle out there.
- Saw this picture on the Steelers website. Awesome.