Football can be a strange game – take, for instance, the New York Jets.
The Jets just went through an entire pre-season, four games, scoring one touchdown total. And that touchdown drive was led by their third-string quarterback. Not Mark Sanchez, not Tim Tebow – Greg McElroy.
So there was great concern about New York going into its regular-season opener last Sunday vs. the Buffalo Bills. And just what did the Jets do against Buffalo?
Oh, how about six touchdowns, two in the first quarter, two more on interception and punt returns, and 48 points in a 48-28 romp?
Suddenly, New York is an offensive juggernaut, and a threat to score 50 as it readies to pay a visit on the 0-1 Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon (4:25 pm Eastern, CBS).
Week 1 Review
OK, hyperbole aside, the Jets did look vastly better offensively last week than they did during the pre-season, and last season. New York ran for 118 yards vs. the Bills, getting 94 yards from Shonn Greene, and even more importantly than the yardage was the fact that they attempted to run the ball 36 times. That was something NY got away from last year, which proved unwise.
Sanchez went 19-for-27 passing vs. Buffalo for 266 yards and three touchdowns; last year the Jets let Sanchez throw an average of 34 times per game. Which was also unwise. Sanchez passing is more effective in smaller doses.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, dropped its season opener Sunday night in Denver 31-19. The Steelers led 10-7 at the half but had a tough time stopping Peyton Manning in his debut for his new team. Pittsburgh had a chance late, but Big Ben threw an interception that was returned for a game-clinching touchdown.
Week 2 Preview
As of Wednesday morning the Jets were listed as six-point underdogs for Sunday’s game on most NFL odds boards.
These teams last met two Januaries ago in the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh, a game won by the Steelers 24-19. Pittsburgh led 24-3 into the third quarter, before New York got into the act, pulling to within five points with a score with three minutes to go. But a full comeback was not to be.
With Sunday’s victory the Jets are now 29-20 straight-up and 26-23 ATS under head coach Rex Ryan.