Jets drop to 3-3 with uninspired performance against Steelers

Antonio Cromartie
Antonio Cromartie, who was banged up in practice this week, was beaten by receivers all day.
Credit: Getty Images

All the talk of a statement game went out the window for the Jets, who were physically manhandled by the winless Steelers, 19-6.

On offense, the Jets struggled to find any rhythm and looked particularly horrid in the second half, where they didn’t generate any points and had two turnovers.

Nick Folk had two field goals in the first quarter and right before halftime, while Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham had three field goals in the second quarter to give the visitors a 9-6 lead heading into halftime.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger settled down and frustrated the Jets secondary after being hit hard early in the game. In particular, cornerback Antonio Cromartie struggled against Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who had a 55-yard touchdown catch early in the third quarter to give the Steelers a 16-6 lead.

After a week of talking about the Jets’ surprising start to the season, the Steelers were the ones who played like a postseason-caliber team, their 1-4 record notwithstanding. Now 3-3, the Jets are suddenly looking like a team without an identity.

What went wrong …

1. Ho-hum Geno

Coming off what was a statement game on Monday night against the Falcons when he was 16-for-20 for 199 yards with three touchdowns, Smith was positively underwhelming as he went 18-for-33 for 192 yards and two interceptions. The game had the potential all along to be a nightmare for Smith as Steelers long-time defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau entered the game 15-2 lifetime against rookie quarterbacks. He looked dumbfounded against the Steelers’ coverage packages and compounded the matter when he held onto the ball too long, resulting in being sacked three times. Then there was his third quarter interception, where he threw into triple coverage. Not a good game for a player who looked like the franchise the week before.

2. No Winslow

The Jets announced on Friday tight end Kellen Winslow was suspended by the league for four games for violation of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The loss of Winslow is huge for the Jets, given his chemistry with Smith. He entered Week 6 as the Jets’ leading receiver with 17 catches and he is also still tied for the team lead with two touchdowns. After a breakout game against the Falcons, tight end Jeff Cumberland stepped into a starting role but he had difficulty finding space against the Steelers linebackers. Cumberland did relatively well with four receptions for 59 yards but without Winslow, they lacked a play maker at the position.

3. Ground to a halt

There are no excuses for the Jets not to be running the ball better than this. The offensive line is blocking relatively well and they entered the game with three healthy running backs (though Bilal Powell did leave in the fourth quarter with an injury). But the Jets abandoned the run for good chunks of the game, which was surprising since their rookie quarterback struggled to find a rhythm. The running back tandem combined for just 75 rushing yards. That number won’t carry a rookie quarterback during his lulls.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.