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Grading Out Jets/Steelers

Grading out the Jets victory yesterday...

Quarterback (B+) - It was an efficient, poised performance from the Jets second year quarterback. Mark Sanchez protected the football and looked sharp in the short and intermediate passing game. Considering the road the Jets will have to take if they want to reach a Super Bowl, seeing him play well in Pittsburgh was very encouraging.

Running Backs (B) - LaDainian Tomlinson looked much more spry than he did in recent weeks and combined with Shonn Greene, did just enough to keep the Jets offensive attack balanced. 89 yards on 23 carries for Tomlinson and Greene is nothing to be ashamed of against this defense.

Wide Receivers (A-) - Braylon Edwards picked a great time to play his best game as a Jet. He was repeatedly clutch and tough over the middle, hauling in a few highly difficult catches. Santonio Holmes contributed 6 receptions for 40 yards in his old stadium.

Tight Ends (B) - A quiet day for Dustin Keller with 3 receptions for 19 yards but overall the blocking was solid from this group.

Offensive Line (A) - A very strong performance from this group who kept Sanchez clean and got a solid push in the running game. Wayne Hunter filled in admirably for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line (C) - Not the best day at the office for this group, who allowed Rashard Mendenhall to rack up 100 yards and a touchdown. They were short on depth with Trevor Pryce out of the line-up.

Linebackers (C) - They catch some slack for the poor run defense also. Jason Taylor came up huge with a monster safety late in the game. The Jets need him to be active if they are going to make a run in January.

Secondary (B) - Ben Roethlisberger barely completed 50 percent of his passes and Drew Coleman turned in a career day with 10 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

Special Teams (A) - Returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown is exactly what this team needed, as Brad Smith continued his push for a Pro-Bowl spot. Steve Weatherford and Nick Folk both had strong games, which is encouraging at this time of the year.

Coaching (A) - Rex Ryan managed to have his team confident and emotional heading into this game and it payed off. Brian Schottenheimer out coached Dick LeBeau, in the biggest surprise of the day.