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Jets Magic Doesn't Travel to Pittsburgh

Offense sputters in second half of 27-10 loss to Steelers

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    This picture's worth 1000 words on the Jets' day.

    Maybe the Jets should have kept some of those touchdowns in their holster. 

    A week after scoring six of them against the Bills, the Jets managed just one in a 27-10 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The primary culprit was an offense that couldn't recapture the touch they had in the opener. 

    Things started out well as the Jets cruised to a touchdown by Santonio Holmes on their opening drive and then got a field goal on their second possession. The team looked very sharp on their way to an early 10-6 lead. Things pretty much died on the vine right there, though. 

    The Jets gained just 128 net yards after that field goal and a good chunk of them came on two penalties on passes to Holmes and Jeremy Kerley. The Holmes penalty, a pass interference on Steelers corner Ike Taylor, was one of the worst calls you'll ever see in the NFL, a complete phantom penalty that was followed by a terrible job on a replay review in the fourth quarter. 

    But there will be another time for discussions of officiating ineptitude. Now is the time to discuss how bad the Jets offense looked in the second half. 

    Of those 128 yards, 34 were gained on back-to-back plays with Tim Tebow running or handing off, two of the only three snaps he took at quarterback all day, so that should tell you how little Sanchez accomplished in the second half. It wasn't all on him as there were drops, but it was a reminder how he wilts under a pass rush. 

    The Jets line was not as good as it was in the opener and the passing game suffered mightily as a result. It was the dirty little secret of the Bills game that Sanchez' performance was made possible by a great day from the blockers, and the offense looked just as bad as everyone feared on Sunday when the blocking broke down. 

    Dustin Keller's absence could have played a role, so it's something that bears watching in the coming weeks. The other big missing Jet, cornerback Darrelle Revis, would have been welcomed, but the Jets weren't winning this game without three or four more Revises to make up for the offense's inability to get on track. 

    This isn't a total disaster for the Jets since not many expected them to win this week. But they won't go anywhere worthwhile this season if they don't compete in games like this. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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