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

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NBA

Knicks wrap up season with win over Raptors

The Knicks wrapped up their season as it began — undermanned — but that still didn’t deter them from ending it the right way.

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.