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Jets Crash Back to Earth vs. Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16 :  Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a catch in front of LaRon Landry #30 and Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets on September 16, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

So before anyone gets too upset about the Jets' 27–10 loss at Pittsburgh yesterday, note that: (a) The Jets were missing several key players, including Darrelle Revis; (b) the game started out just fine and Jets were mostly just worn down; (c) this was a road game against a perpetual contender, one that was scared and hungry after a Week One loss. There are bad losses, and this isn't one of them. All right? So, now that that's over, it was pretty ugly yesterday.

The game actually started in ideal, wait-is-this-just-how-the-offense-plays-now fashion, with Mark Sanchez leading a 90-yard touchdown drive on the first possession. The problem was not that he completed four-of-five passes on that drive; the problem was that he only completed 6-of-22 the rest the of the way. It was one of those Sanchez floaters–short-arms that we saw so much of last year, and that we saw none of in the Week One win over Buffalo.

It was the hideous Jets offense of the preseason, the one everyone had feared was going to pop up again. And it was against a Steelers defense lacking James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. It was one of those games where you thought maybe someone should give Greg McElroy a shot.

One person who didn't get a shot: Tim Tebow. He only made it in for three offensive plays — he had a couple defense cameos — and had one nice play, a 22-yard run in the third quarter. But that was it, and afterward, neither Tebow nor Sanchez wanted to talk much about it. Which is fine, really.

The star of the day was Ben Roethlisberger, who was effective in a way Sanchez wasn't, going 24-for-31 with 275 yards and two touchdowns. It was a terrific game that we honestly hadn't seen from him in a while ... and haven't seen from Sanchez in longer.

This was always going to be a tough game for the Jets to win — we had it marked down as a loss from the get-go — and there's no reason to panic. Now, if they have this much trouble against Miami next week ... well, that's another story. Winning at Pittsburgh is tough. For a week, we can all leave it at that and hope that's all it is, and all this was.

Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images