I have already posted my first half notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-10 win over the New York Jets and below are my notes from the second half of the game.
LaMarr Woodley starts the second half with a good open field tackle on the tight end. A couple of short runs moves the chains for the Jets as Larry Foote just missed a TFL on the second down run.
Woodley finally gets his first sack of the season after he beats right tackle Austin Howard around the edge on the 3rd and long play.
The Steelers drive starts slow but a LaRon Landry horse-collar on Antonio Brown helps kick it into gear. The 1st down pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Jerricho Cotchery was almost picked off by linebacker David Harris and the Steelers quarterback was pretty mad at himself for it. On the second down run to the left by Jonathan Dwyer, both Marcus Gilbert and Max Starks get blown up for a run fail.
The 3rd and long touchdown throw to Mike Wallace was a case where Roethlisberger had nothing to lose by throwing it up against single coverage to see if his receiver could make a play. If it is intercepted it is like a punt and if incomplete the Steelers likely punt. Wallace adjusted nicely to the ball as Antonio Cromartie ended up being a spectator with a front row seat for the catch.
On the big run by Tim Tebow, Brett Keisel is driven way off the ball by the tackle and the pulling guard from the right, while Casey Hampton is turned out of the hole by the right guard/center double team. Foote chose the wrong gap and it was off to the races for an explosive running play. The next play is Joe McKnight on an end around and Woodley can\’t make the tackle. Foote over pursued on the play and it allowed the running back to go for another first down. The very next play we see the 4-2-5 defense again and Ryan Clark beats the tight end off the edge for the run fail. Woodley almost gets his second sack as Mark Sanchez is now back in the game. The linebacker easily beats the running back assigned to pick him up off the edge and Sanchez just throws it away. Ike Taylor has a nice pass defensed on the next play to Santonio Holmes and the Jets drive stalls.
Third 3rd down and 5 competition to Emmanuel Sanders is just short, but once again Baron Batch does a great job picking up edge pressure along with the help of center Maurkice Pouncey who molly blocks outside to the left after the snap.
After the challenge by Rex Ryan the referees make the right call and the ball is re-spotted. The punt by Drew Butler is muffed by Jeremy Kerley as a streaking DeMarcus Van Dyke gets down field to pressure the Jets return man into the mistake. Ryan Mundy recovers but the Steelers offense can\’t turn it into any points. On that drive Roethlisberger short armed a pass to Dwyer which would have moved the chains. Both Wallace and Antonio Brown appeared to be open on the play, but Roethlisberger was on the move outside the pocket and chose instead to go underneath. The 3rd down slip screen to Chris Rainey was dropped and he had Willie Colon out front as well. The play should have at least moved the chains. Roethlisberger wanted to go for it on 4th down but a bad personnel change forced the disgruntled quarterback to take the delay of game call. Butler did a great job pinning the Jets in their own end on the punt that followed.
The 2nd down drop by Holmes pretty much killed the next drive by the Jets as the Steelers forced Sanchez to sail his 3rd down pass on the next play. Had Sanchez completed the pass, Mundy was lined up for a crushing hit on the receiver.
A hold by Gilbert to start the next drive negates a nice run by Dwyer and the Steelers offense is backed up again. A blitzing Bart Scott almost sacks Roethlisberger, but the quarterback eludes him only to throw the ball away for an intentional grounding call. Dwyer never had a chance to pick up Scott as he timed the snap perfectly through the left A gap. 3rd and 33 and Roethlisberger at least gets a big chunk of it back. I for one was screaming for a draw play just to be safe.
The first play of the Jets next drive is the horrible penalty call on Taylor. Clark has a great hit on Holmes, and the first time I saw the play live I thought they tried to flag him for an illegal hit. This was the worst call of the game by far, and maybe the whole weekend as well. Clark left temporarily with a stinger but returned quickly. The 2nd down and 7 play once again featured the 4-2-5 look. On 3rd and 7 the Steelers were in press with 9 players up on the line. They rushed 5 and the backside pressure by Woodley forced an incomplete pass and the Jets had to punt.
Great push by the left side of the Steelers offensive line on the nice run by Isaac Redman for the 1st down. Leonard Pope had good pad level and drove his man way off the ball. Perhaps the best straight ahead block he has had since being signed. Tight ends Heath Miller and David Paulson also had good blocks on the short yardage run. Starks sealed the inside off and needs credit as well. The excitement is short lived as Redman is dropped for a loss by linebacker Garrett McIntyre on the next play.
Miller draws the pass interference call and the Steelers are on the move again until Roethlisberger gets sacked and Pouncey is called for a false start. Redman picks up a good chunk of yardage back on the dumpoff as he jukes McIntyre nicely after the catch. The 3rd and 3 catch by Brown saw him really have to go up high for the catch and absorb a bit hit after making it. Very nice play.
The back shoulder throw from Roethlisberger to Miller on 3rd down was a thing of beauty on the right side and it moved the chains on the time consuming drive once again. Wow! Two nice runs by Dwyer and the Steelers are 1st and goal.
After a timeout, Redman would not be denied the touchdown and the long back breaking drive is completed.
The game is really all over at this point and the Steelers move to 1-1.
The running game came alive on the final scoring drive, but make no mistake that it was play of Roethlisberger that won this game along with several nice catches by the receivers. The offensive line needs some work, but overall I thought the tight ends blocked well on the edge.
Dick LeBeau showed us the 4-2-5 in this game and I doubt we have seen the end of it. I did not think that Keisel and Hampton had great games, but thought that Ziggy Hood did a good job holding the point on the left side. The inside linebacker play was not great, but was acceptable. Outside of choosing a few wrong gaps to fill on some big run plays, Both Foote and Timmons were always around the ball. Taylor settled down and ultimately had a nice game, while Clark was the star on defense in my eyes.