By Joshua Hayes,
For both the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday’s battle at Heinz Field proved to be in stark contrast to opening weekend. While Gang Green’s offense went from flying at high altitude to a complete tailspin, the Black and Gold rebounded from a disappointing loss in Denver, and the Steel City celebrated the team’s first check mark in the win column of the 2012 season.
The contest marked an impressive 10th straight team victory in home openers. In fact, the team’s only opening-day loss at Heinz Field came in 2002, a defeat at the hands of next week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders.
With early afternoon losses by both the Ravens and Patriots, in addition to a rash of other Week 2 upsets, the weekend reminded fans that the NFL season is truly a marathon that isn’t dictated by any single game or loss. However, few would have been so naïve as to refute that a loss in the home opener and 0-2 start could severely damage the Men of Steel’s long-term goals.
Thankfully, despite a shaky start, the Steelers rebounded, executing well in all phases of the game en route to a 27-10 win and improving their record to 1-1. After losing the opener and getting diced in the secondary by Mark Sanchez in the opening minutes, optimism was at a premium, but Pittsburgh showcased an important trait just before halftime and beyond: resiliency.
With a trip to California on the horizon, the Men of Steel prepare to go back on the road. Away from the friendly confines of Heinz Field, the Steelers have struggled in recent games. As Steeler Nation hopes for a change in road performance as the team heads westward, here are 10 enthusing observations from Pittsburgh’s successful home opener.