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|12-20-2010, 05:58 AM||#1|
A Son of Martha
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Steelers lose to Jets, 22-17
Steelers lose to Jets, 22-17
Sunday, December 19, 2010 07:20 PM
Written by Bob Smizik
It was the struggling New York Jets vs. the struggling Steelers.
The Steelers struggled more in a 22-17 loss.
Cancel those Super Bowl plans.
The Steelers (10-4) clinched a playoff spot despite the loss and can still earn a first-round bye.But instead of peaking at the right time, the Steelers are going backwards at the wrong time.
That was never more evident than in their loss to the Jets at Heinz Field today. The game was another frustrating example of the team's inability to win without injured safety Troy Polamalu in the lineup.
The Steelers sluggish offense perked up a bit today, but not enough. The Steelers won the statistics but not the game.
The ending was drama packed and looking like it might be another great comeback for Ben Roethlisberger as he moved the Steelers from their own 8, beginning with 2:08 remaining, to the Jets' 10. But from there Roethlisberger threw two incompletions against strong defensive coverage.
A major indignity for the Steelers was the safety they allowed with a little less than three minutes remaining and trailing by three points. On first down from the 3, Mewelde Moore took a handoff from Roethlisberger and was almost immediately thrown to the ground by Jason Taylor in the end zone for a safety.
The play had a major impact on the outcome of the game because without it the Steelers could have kicked a game-tying field goal to send the game to overtime.
Rashard Mendenhall had a good day against what is considered one of the better defenses in the NFL, gaining 100 yards on 17 carries. Roethlisberger completed 23 of 44 passes for 264 yards and a mediocre 78.2 passer rating.
What was particularly disheartening was that the Steelers took a 17-10 lead with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter but could not hold it against a offense that has been particular bad in recent weeks.
The Jets hadn't score an offensive touchdown in nine quarters and quarterback Mark Sanchez had become a turnover machine. They got only one offensive touchdown today but it was enough. And Sanchez did not lose the ball.
The game got off to an awful start when Brad Smith returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a New York touchdown.
The Steelers remain a virtual lock for the post-season. But with this sluggish offense, the Super Bowl seems a million miles away.
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