Brandon Marshall’s 15-yard touchdown put the Jets ahead 13-7 with 2:06 to go in the second quarter before the offense fell apart. The unit had 316 total yards but finished the game 2-for-11 (18 percent) on third-down conversions. Matt Forte’s 28-yard second-quarter run was the Jets’ longest run of the season, but the run game was ineffective (72 total yards). And there were too many drops, especially for a veteran like Marshall. After throwing nine interceptions the past two games, Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t commit a turnover. He finished 25 of 38 for 255 yards and one TD.
Wide-open receivers. Deep balls downfield. And more defensive breakdowns. For the fifth straight week, a quarterback finished with a QB rating over 100.0. Ben Roethlisberger (124.4) completed 34 of 47 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Even against the Steelers’ makeshift offensive line, the Jets couldn’t generate a consistent pass rush (save for Leonard Williams’ fourth-quarter sack and forced fumble). Cornerback Marcus Williams, who started in place of the injured Darrelle Revis (hamstring), was roasted on Sammie Coates’ 72-yard TD reception in the first quarter. Marcus Williams also dropped a sure interception in the third.
SPECIAL TEAMS C
Nick Folk gave the Jets their first six points, nailing a 35- and 48-yard field goals. Safety Calvin Pryor didn’t have a good day defensively, but his special-teams tackle saved a 33-yard punt return by Antonio Brown from being a TD. Lachlan Edwards had a 52-yard punt, but finished with a 28.2 net average. A touchback on his 50-yard punt in the third quarter could have been avoided if Marcus Williams hadn’t played the ball so poorly.
Plenty of players have failed to show up consistently, but these losses are on the coaching staff too. Each week, the same issues continue to plague the Jets. And yet, the necessary in-game adjustments, lineup changes and play-calling tweaks are never made. Worse? Bowles’ decision to punt the ball near midfield on fourth-and-2 while trailing by 11 with 7:36 was inexcusable.