1-1
10 -
Team 1 2 3 4
NYJ 7 3 0 0
PIT 3 10 7 7
27

Jets-Steelers Preview

The Associated Press

It only took one week for the New York Jets' offense to go from worrisome to unstoppable.

Darrelle Revis has undergone the complete opposite transformation.

With their top defensive player ruled out, the Jets look for another dynamic performance from Mark Sanchez and the offense as a much tougher test awaits at Pittsburgh versus the Steelers on Sunday.

New York spent the majority of the preseason as one of the NFL's hot topics, but for the wrong reasons. The team failed to get in the end zone until the fourth and final preseason game, and that touchdown came from its reserves.

That changed dramatically in the first game that counted.

The Jets reached the end zone on the first three scores and comfortably beat Buffalo 48-28 to open the season in impressive and surprising fashion.

"I know we're a special group," Sanchez said. "I've known that from the jump, but I think we're starting to realize it."

Sanchez was a big part of last week's outburst, completing 19 of 27 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns while tossing his only interception on the opening drive. Two of his scoring throws went to rookie Stephen Hill, who had five catches for 89 yards despite getting sick on the sideline during the game.

"He showed that toughness that we knew he had," coach Rex Ryan said of his second-round pick. "It is impressive that he was able to have that kind of day."

New York's Week 1 success didn't stop on offense, as the defense got interceptions from Revis, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie, who returned his for a TD.

Revis won't get a chance at another pick just yet. The All-Pro cornerback will miss this game due to a concussion, suffered last week when he was accidentally kicked in the head by teammate Bart Scott while attempting a tackle. Revis will not make the trip to Pittsburgh, and Wilson will start in his place.

Revis' absence may add pressure on Sanchez and the offense, but scoring is usually a tall order against the Steelers, especially in Pittsburgh.

That could mean more plays for Tim Tebow, who gained 11 yards on five carries while being used twice in the wildcat and in nine total offensive plays last week. The wildly popular backup quarterback burned the Steelers for an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime in last season's wild-card matchup. He completed 10 of 21 passes for 316 yards and two scores, while adding 50 rushing yards on 10 attempts in the matchup.

The Jets are 4-17 all-time against the Steelers, and 1-8 at Pittsburgh after losing the most recent visit 24-19 in the AFC championship game on Jan. 23, 2011.

"This is as tough a place as we've talked about playing," Ryan said. "It's based on the fact that they have an excellent football team, and they get after it. Their defense; they have seven players that are over 30 years old, and you see that. They don't make mistakes. They don't beat themselves. They're smart. They're extremely physical."

That was true last season when the Steelers had the top-ranked defense in the NFL, but the unit surrendered 334 yards in a season-opening 31-19 loss at Denver last week. They seemed to especially struggle containing the Broncos' no-huddle offense.

Pittsburgh now welcomes back safety Ryan Clark, who sat out the opener due to a sickle cell trait that flares up at high altitude, but two other defensive standouts are questionable. Linebacker James Harrison (knee) hasn't played since the playoff loss to Denver, safety Troy Polamalu is nursing a strained calf and neither player has practiced this week.

"Obviously, those guys are capable of helping us," coach Mike Tomlin said. "They're quality veteran players. They know how to play and, specifically in Ryan's case, not only his play but his communication and leadership. That remains to be seen and we're not going to assume anything. What we are going to do is focus on the healthy guys and get them prepared to play and, ultimately, expect them to play on the acceptable level."

The same could be expected for the offense, which was held to 284 yards - 75 rushing - in the season opener as starting running back Rashard Mendenhall was inactive as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. Mendenhall practiced this week but is listed as doubtful.

"This week is very important," running back Jonathan Dwyer said. "Every week is important. The first didn't go as we wanted, but we are going to make sure we put ourselves in a better situation this week than we did last week."

Last week, Ben Roethlisberger completed 22 of 40 passes for 245 yards with two touchdowns and an untimely INT, which was returned 43 yards for the game's final score with 1:58 left.

Roethlisberger, though, has won 24 of his last 29 at Heinz Field while completing 62.9 percent of his passes with 43 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a 97.7 passer rating. He has won three of four home games against the Jets despite six interceptions, only two TD passes and a 56.5 rating.

While the Jets are looking for their third 2-0 start in four seasons under Ryan, the Steelers are trying to avoid an 0-2 start for the first time since 2002. Still, Roethlisberger isn't concerned.

"The Super Bowl was not won or lost last week and probably isn't won or lost this week," he told the team's official website. "It makes it a little bit harder with every loss but we're just going to come out, play good football, and keep trying to get better."

View Comments (46)

Recommended for You

  • Aly Raisman on How the Final Five Reacted to Gabby Douglas Getting Bullied

    During the Olympic games, Final Five member Gabby Douglas watched herself be torn apart by internet trolls who dubbed her “Crabby Gabby” for not appearing supportive enough of her teammates during the all-around team competition (Douglas reportedly wasn’t as smiley as her other teammates in the…

    Elle
  • With no deal, Chargers withdraw offer to first-rounder Bosa

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joey Bosa's holdout turned ugly Wednesday when the San Diego Chargers pulled their contract offer to the first-round draft pick and said they'll restructure a new deal that would reflect him playing less than a full season.

    Associated Press
  • Notre Dame CB Devin Butler pleads not guilty to felony charges

    Devin Butler has made three starts for Notre Dame (Getty). Suspended Notre Dame cornerback Devin Butler has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of resisting arrest and battery of a police officer after his weekend arrest. Butler was arrested outside of a South Bend, Indiana, bar on Friday evening.

    Dr. Saturday
  • Billy Butler regrets role in clubhouse scuffle that gave him concussion

    A weird month for the Oakland A’s got even weirder last Friday in Chicago when Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse scuffle over the latter’s cleat endorsement deal. The physical altercation resulted in Billy Butler sustaining a concussion, which landed him on MLB’s…

    Big League Stew
  • Lift23 Golf Socks: Golf Socks for Veterans

    Lift 23 derived its name from its first mission -- to lift the spirits of 23,000 homeless children in New York City shelters by donating a pair of socks for every pair of ski socks sold. For every pair of golf socks sold, Lift 23 gives a portion of profits to the PGA of America's HOPE program,…

    Golf
  • Could Wilson Chandler's 350-lb grouper start for the Denver Nuggets?

    Most NBA fans’ eyes were on Team USA’s gold-medal winning performance in Rio de Janeiro, but for me the most fascinating story of the weekend involved veteran Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler. The 29-year-old decided to do a little deep-sea fishing, a day of fun enjoyed by many Americans…

    Ball Don't Lie
  • The Patriots traded center Bryan Stork to the Redskins, but he could retire

    First, it was reported that the New England Patriots were planning on releasing their third-year center, who started in their Super Bowl XLIX win as a rookie in the 2014 season. Then word arose that the Washington Redskins, seeking an upgrade, had sent a conditional draft pick to the Patriots for…

    Shutdown Corner
  • Aly Raisman Agrees to Date With Raiders Tight End Colton Underwood

    Apparently mixing gymnastics and football, as she’s recently agreed to go on a double date with Raiders tight end Colton Underwood, and his teammate Andrew East who is married to fellow Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. Raisman is definitely up to it. Lucky for Underwood, Raisman is scheduled to visit…

    People
  • Hugh Freeze made up his own hypothetical funeral to help motivate team

    Hugh Freeze has thought through what he wants his funeral to be like (Getty). Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze had an, um, interesting way to get his team motivated for the 2016 season. Freeze said Monday that he staged a mock funeral for himself as a way of getting his team to recognize how to work for…

    Dr. Saturday
  • Zach Johnson 'Rather Watch Sports That Should Be in Olympics' Instead of Golf

    (c) 2016 Time Inc. Justin Rose Wins Gold Medal Over Henrik Stenson Justin Rose held off Henrik Stenson to win the gold medal in golf's return to the Olympics.Zach Johnson is not one of those pros whose opinion of the Olympics was transformed by the spectacle of watching the event unfold in real…

    Golf
  • Earthquake in Italy leaves at least 120 dead

    The tragedy took place in central Italy overnight

    GazzettaWorld
  • Suspended early-enrollee tweets he's leaving Michigan

    Wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell says he’s transferring from Michigan and re-opening his recruitment. Mitchell, an early-enrollee at UM, is currently suspended by the Wolverines. Mitchell was a four-star recruit in the class of 2016, according to Rivals.

    Dr. Saturday
  • Ronda Rousey will not return at UFC 205 in New York

    UFC president Dana White ruled out a November comeback for the former women's bantamweight champion.

    Cagewriter
  • Sandusky is innocent, deserves new trial, lawyer says

    By David DeKok BELLEFONTE, Pa. (Reuters) - Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky is innocent and should get a new trial, his defense lawyer told reporters following a three-day hearing in a Pennsylvania state court. "There were so many flaws in his trial," attorney Alexander Lindsay said. The…

    Reuters
  • Chronicles of Stanley: The kids are all right; Rust's rainbow, nap

    The Chronicles of Stanley is an occasional series this summer that tracks the Pittsburgh Penguins as they each get their special alone time with the Stanley Cup. Weeks before his day with the Stanley Cup, Nick Bonino prepped daughter Maisie for a seat she was going to take when he brought the…

    Puck Daddy
  • League of Legends esports is in chaos over low pay, untimely patches, and more (UPDATED)

    The League of Legends esports scene is a mess right now. In the past few months, tensions between Riot Games and team owners within the LCS have been rising. There is a rift (sorry) between the owners and Riot due to disagreements about how the LCS and the rest of League esports should be run.

    Taylor Cocke
  • David Price pitches the Red Sox back into first place

    Now this is the David Price for whom the Red Sox paid $217 million, the ace Boston thought could lead it back to the World Series. This David Price, he threw eight shutout innings on Monday night as the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. Price allowed just two hits and looked every bit like the…

    Big League Stew