Jets @ Steelers: AFC Championship
Mark Sanchez: 20/33, 2 TD (1 fumble)
Solid, if not spectacular game for Mark Sanchez. His passes were off a bit yet again, so who knows how much his shoulder is still bothering him? He did do enough to win this game, and had some excellent moments in the clutch yet again. This young man is a franchise quarterback, and he will continue to get better. For Jets fans, that should be a silver lining – at least we don’t have the same situation that Chicago has.
Running Back: D
Shonn Greene: 9/52
Ladanian Tomlinson: 9/16
Not much to say about the running backs, who had just a god awful first half. The Jets totaled 1 yard of rushing in the first half, Greene got it going late but it wasn’t enough.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: B+
Dustin Keller: 8/64
Jerricho Cotchery: 5/33/1 TD
Braylon Edwards: 3/50
Santonio Holmes: 2/61/1 TD
Keller quietly put up an excellent game, though there are times when you question his football smarts… like when he makes a big catch for 8 yards on 3rd and 9 and doesn’t reach for the first. The three receivers each put forth a great effort, but weren’t afforded enough opportunities.
Offensive Line: D
Solid in pass protection, for the most part… but where was the ground and pound we love so much? The offensive line could not get it going when we needed it the most.
Defensive Line: D
The Jets defensive line put together a good pass rush, and got a reasonable amount of pressure on Big Ben – but they struggled to sniff out the run.
Pace had a sack and Thomas had a pick, but overall it was a terrible game for the linebackers. When you see running backs gashing a 3-4 defense for 7 and 8 yards a pop, you know the linebackers are struggling. That’s not to mention those Big Ben scrambles for first downs, either.
The secondary put forth a tremendous effort against the Steelers, even if they allowed those 2 game winning first downs with time expiring. The Steelers struggled in the passing game all day long, Pool tallied an interception, Revis nearly had another – or even two more. Quite simply, it was clear that Pittsburgh could not win this game through the air. It’s just too bad they found another way to do so.
Special Teams: C-
The return game was weak (though Pittsburgh did squib kick a few times), and Weatherford had his second straight sub-par game, punting-wise. Nick Folk actually hit a 42 yard field goal at the end of the first half. Believe it or not, he didn’t kill us.
The team came out lackluster, but the adjustments at half time that pulled the win back within reach must be accounted for. Schottenheimer’s bizarre play calling may be one of the culprits for this loss. With 3 opportunities within the 5, I’m not sure why we’re getting all fancy with our passing game when we could just pound the ball into the endzone.