Roethlisberger shines as Steelers rip Jets, 27-10
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PITTSBURGH — So much for Todd Haley cramping Ben Roethlisberger’s style.
Showing complete mastery of his new offensive coordinator’s complex playbook, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback picked apart the New York Jets in a 27-10 victory Sunday that doubled as a reality check for both teams.
Hold off on the talk about New York’s high-powered offense. And the Steelers may not be so creaky after all.
Roethlisberger completed 24 of 31 passes for 275 yards and two scores as Pittsburgh (1-1) flattened the Jets (1-1) in the second half.
‘‘Ben is one of the top [QBs] in the game,’’ said wide receiver Mike Wallace, whose leaping 37-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter broke it open. ‘‘I'll ride with him against anybody.’’
Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller for a 1-yard score to give the Steelers the lead late in the first half, then avoided the blitz on third and 16 early in the third quarter and found Wallace in the end zone. The Pro Bowl wide receiver let cornerback Antonio Cromartie fly by, then snatched the ball out of the air before tucking both feet inbounds.
‘‘That was a backbreaker obviously,’’ Jets coach Rex Ryan said. ‘‘That was a killer play in the game.’’
Isaac Redman added a late 2-yard touchdown run for Pittsburgh, which had little trouble avoiding its first 0-2 start in a decade.
The Jets, who piled up 48 points in Week 1 against the Bills, did nothing offensively after a pair of early scoring drives. Mark Sanchez completed just 10 of 27 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Tim Tebow appeared on just one drive early in the second half, running for 22 yards on his first carry.
The Jets only converted 4 of 12 third downs and didn’t take a snap inside the Pittsburgh 30 on their final eight drives.
With Roethlisberger spreading his completions to 10 receivers against a New York secondary that missed injured All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Steelers held the ball for more than 36 minutes. Not bad for an offense led by a quarterback who said during the spring that Haley’s system was akin to learning a new language.
Two weeks into the season, consider Roethlisberger fluent.
‘‘Nobody can get too upset because everybody is touching the ball,’’ Wallace said. ‘‘[The passes are] coming right on the money.’’