Sunday, January 23, 2011
Halftime notes from Jets at Steelers
By Tim Graham
PITTSBURGH -- Halftime thoughts from Heinz Field, where the New York Jets are getting whipped by the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-3 in the AFC Championship Game:
- The story so far has been the run games. The Steelers have been dominant. Rashard Mendenhall is stomping all over the Jets' defense. He has 17 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown already. Poor tackling has doomed the Jets.
- The Jets, meanwhile, have rushed for 1 yard as a team. They had minus-2 yards with 6:51 left in the half.
- From ESPN Stats & Information: The only team to win the AFC or NFC Championship after trailing by 14 or more points at halftime was the 2006 Indianapolis Colts. They trailed the New England Patriots 21-6 at the intermission.
- The Steelers scored their final points of the half on an Ike Taylor strip sack that William Gay collected and ran in for a 19-yard touchdown with about a minute left. Mark Sanchez was hurt on the play but returned to the game and looked good in the hurry-up offense. The Jets managed a field goal, but their signs of life probably came too late.
- Sanchez's stat line so far: 7 of 15 for 63 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions.
- Ben Roethlisberger: 7 of 14 for 96 yards and no touchdowns with one interception. He ran 2 yards for a touchdown.
- The Steelers kept the opening possession for 15 plays and more than nine minutes. Their time of possession in the first quarter was 10:49. The Jets had one series. They haven't scored a touchdown in 14 straight first quarters.
- The Jets repeatedly wound up in 3rd-and-long situations. They converted a 3rd-and-10 on their first series, but were done in by third downs with 14, 12, 7 and 17 yards to go.
- The Jets caught their first big break with 12:32 left in the half. The Steelers had a fourth-and-1 situation at the Jets' 32 and tried to pass. Roethlisberger dumped a pass to Mendenhall, but the ball caromed to Bryan Thomas for an interception.
- The Steelers lost Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey to a left ankle injury at the end of the opening drive. Pouncey is the best lineman on an otherwise pedestrian offensive line, but they continued to run well without him. He was replaced by Doug Legursky.