It definitely was a tense one. From the opening kick-off return from Brad Smith to the last 2 seconds with ball in Big Ben's hand in the redzone.
Let's give credit, where credit is due. Schottenheimer re-grouped and came out with an offensive game plan that pretty much mimicked the game plan that got them to the play-offs last year. Run the ball with confidence and set-up the passing game and when you do go to the passing game, make it high percentage. After the last two weeks, instilling confidence in a team that was shell shocked was of the utmost importance. I really feel that Schottenheimer did the job this week.
Can we talk about the defense because it does not appear to be the defense that this team was built around. This three man rush is for the birds right now. They are getting no push, which is allowing the opposing QB to feel no pressure and have all the time to wait for someone to get open. The catch and run for the opposing team has been killing the Jets. I don't care who is covering who but if you give a QB all the time in the world, a professional receiver will eventually get open. I really feel that the Jets might need to go with a four man rush and use Taylor a lot more. It definitely appears that the Gholson project is pretty much over. Tweaks are needed but it is definitely glaring that the Jets have no rush.
What I saw today at the end of the first quarter is something that is nerve racking. With 2:20 to go in the 1st quarter and the Jets driving into Steelers territory, a costly penalty turned a possible touchdown into a punt. The punt was a good one that pushed the Steelers back to their 4 yard line. You think this is good considering our defense will stop them and the offense will have a short field to operate on. The football gods are strange creatures because when you are driving the ball and you are up 7-0 and you are this close to going up 14-0 and you negate the drive by taking a penalty, strange things happen. The Steelers go on a march of 96 yards and put the ball into the endzone, a 14 point turnaround and a shift in momentum. But the strange thing during this drive was allowing the Steelers an extra down.
Steelers have a 1st down at the Jets 35 yard line. Rashard Mendenhall carries the ball to the 26 yard line. There is no mistake that the ball never made it to the 25 yard line. The referees signal 1st down. The chain gang is confused because they all seem to think that nine yards does not equal a first down, but play continues. What is not apparent to me is that the Jets coaching staff did not seem to make a fuss. Here is an idea, make a fuss, throw the red flag (I really think Rex is a little gun shy with that flag after the Patriots flag in the first quarter), just get them out of their rhythm. It's these mistakes that get compounded and come back to kill you in the post season.
Congrats to the Jets for winning on the road against a very good Steelers team. Lets carry this to Chicago and get us a place in the playoffs.