Ben Roethlisberger passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns and the Steelers smothered the lifeless Jets in the second half of a 27-10 victory on Sunday.
Roethlisberger completed 24 of 31 passes. He hit Heath Miller for a 1-yard score to give the Steelers (1-1) the lead late in the first half, then found Mike Wallace for a 37-yard strike early in the third quarter to break the game open.
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 (1-1) did little offensively after a pair of early scoring drives. Mark Sanchez passed for 138 yards and a touchdown, but New York hardly looked like the offensive juggernaut that piled up points in a 48-28 opening-week blowout win over Buffalo.
Tim Tebow appeared on just one drive early in the second half for the Jets, running for 22 yards on his first carry. It wasn’t nearly enough against a defense that did just fine without injured stars James Harrison and Troy Polamalu.
Keeping the New York offense off the field for long stretches certainly helped. So did a handful of dropped passes by Jets receivers and missed tackles.
With Roethlisberger expertly running new offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s versatile system, he picked apart a Jets secondary that looked exposed without injured star cornerback Darrelle Revis. Roethlisberger completed passes to 10 different receivers as Pittsburgh converted 8 of 15 third downs and held the ball for more than 36 minutes.
The Steelers led 13-10 early in the third quarter when Roethlisberger needed just five plays to lead them 59 yards. Facing third-and-16 at New York’s 37, Roethlisberger stepped up in the pocket and heaved it to Wallace. The Pro Bowl wide receiver let Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie fly by, then snatched the ball out of the air while keeping both feet in bounds.
Trailing by 10, the Jets went to Tebow, who engineered a 29-23 upset win by the Denver Broncos over the Steelers in the playoffs last January. He needed just two plays to put the Jets in Pittsburgh territory, but the drive soon stalled.