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Steelers handle floundering Jets in blowout victory

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The New York Jets (1-4) are approaching a full-on tailspin, losing their third straight game on Sunday afternoon -- this time to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 31-13 beat-down at Heinz Field. Here's what we learned:

1. The Steelers' patience in Sammy Coates will pay off: It was easy to see the confidence Ben Roethlisberger has in the raw but tremendously athletic wideout. After a 72-yard touchdown, Coates dropped a handful of passes including a surefire mid-range hurry throw in the end zone. However, Roethlisberger was determined to establish a true No. 2 pass catching threat with Antonio Brown (nine catches, 78 yards and a touchdown) swarmed all afternoon in double coverage. Coates has the type of after-the-catch skills to change a game, and the Steelers were well aware of his propensity for stone hands when they drafted him. But on a day when he had a career-high six catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns, patience is rewarded with a win. Coates is the league leader in catches over 40 yards (six), which is also worth noting.

2. The Jets are a one-dimensional football team: Without Eric Decker in the fold and with Brandon Marshall still clearly working his way back to 100 percent, the charm of Ryan Fitzpatrick's gunslinger campaign from a year ago seems to be fading quickly. He used the term to brush off his six-interception farce from a few weeks ago, but the truth is that he is not the cog in Chan Gailey's system that he was a year ago without the talent from 2015. The Jets can continue to run veteran Matt Forte into the ground (12 carries for 53 yards, though 28 of them came on one run) or spread out their able bodied receivers and try to show the defense something different.

3. Worthy of No. 1? Despite the tin foil hat levels of confusion and hysteria displayed by fellow Around The NFL crew members over my most recent power rankings, I think there is a legitimate argument to be made for the Steelers as the No. 1 team in football. Le'Veon Bell rushed for 66 yards on 20 carries and caught nine balls for 88 yards, easily leaving a 100-yard game on the table after Roethlisberger sailed a check down throw under pressure midway through Sunday's contest. His arrival and offensive coordinator Todd Haley's creative placement of the dynamic running back adds a different dynamic to a team that was already expected to finish in the top five offensively this year. While the Patriots are an easier choice and are far more systematic, is it possible that Pittsburgh has a higher ceiling given the star power?

4. Where is the fury? Todd Bowles comes from a long line of proud blitzing defensive coordinators, but the Jets finished Sunday with just one sack and a forced fumble on Roethlisberger. While sacks are misleading against a hulking quarterback that doesn't normally land easily, the amount of heat applied compared to the talent level on the field seems to be a bit off.

5. The Jets continue their brutal October. "It's weird because we're 1-4, and we'll get beat up in the media, but this is the perfect position for us," Marshall told reporters after the game. Perhaps, especially if the team struggles to play well against this Sisyphean schedule ahead. The road from hell continues with a Monday Night Football matchup against the rebounding Cardinals next week and a home date against the Ravens the week after. Following a brief respite in Cleveland on Oct. 30 and Miami on Nov. 6, the Jets get the first-place Rams and Patriots over the next three weeks. There is a good chance Miami and Buffalo are unable to make the Jets look any worse in the division, but what is the future of this team? The Jets have young defensive stars, but aging cornerbacks. Their offensive line and skill position players are all veterans. Their quarterback position, to say the least, is a toss-up.

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