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 on Sunday that doubled as a reality check for both teams.
Steeler QB Ben 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 in the game," said Pittsburgh 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 (1-1) 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 New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie fly by then snatched the ball out of the air before tucking both feet in bounds.
"That was a backbreaker obviously," New York 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 did nothing offensively after a pair of early scoring drives. Mark Sanchez completed just 10 of 27 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown and New York hardly looked like the offensive juggernaut that piled up points in a 48-28 opening-week blowout win over Buffalo.
"We settled down," Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said. "I think everybody was hyped for this game. Looking at what them boys did last week, they handled their business on offense."
With Roethlisberger spreading his 24 completions to 10 different receivers, 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.
NOTES: The Steelers have won 10 straight home openers, the longest active streak in the league ... Greene left in the second quarter with a head injury but returned after halftime. He finished with 11 carries for 23 yards ... New York fullback John Conner went out with a knee injury in the third quarter and did not return ... Roethlisberger now has 27,099 career passing yards, moving him within 900 yards of the team record of 27,898 held by Terry Bradshaw ... Roethlisberger's passer rating of 125.1 is the highest given up by New York under Ryan.