The New York Jets (3-3) lose a tough one at home as the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4) come into their house and earn their first win of the season, 19-6. This game was always going to be a tough, defensive battle and the Steelers defense came out on top, shutting out the Jets in the 2nd half.
Steelers, coming off of a bye week, came into this game focused and definitely worked on their flaws which led them to start the season with four straight losses. Steelers defense, who has given up 110 points in the first four games, looked like past Steelers defenses and didn’t allow the Jets to do much on offense. They made life uncomfortable for Geno Smith by sacking him three times with six quarterback hits, and forcing him to throw two interceptions.
There was very little scoring in the 1st half, as the Steelers went into the break with a 9-6 lead. Ben Roethlisberger had a chance to put the Steelers up by seven in the 2nd quarter on the Steelers 2nd drive, but Antonio Brown dropped the ball and the Steelers were held to a Shaun Suisham 33 yard FG to take the lead 6-3. In the last two minutes of the quarter, the Steelers were able to score off another Shaun Suisham FG to increase the lead to 9-3. On the next drive with under a minute to go, Smith was able to lead the Jets on a quick 7 play, 51 yard drive which ended with a Nick Folk 39 yard FG to cut the lead to 3. During the drive, Jets got their first 20+ yard play of the day when Smith completed a pass to Stephen Hill for 20 yards which put them into field goal range.
On the third play of the 3rd quarter, Roethlisberger on 3rd and 1, hit Emmanuel Sanders for 55 yards for a touchdown. After the extra point, Steelers increased their lead to 10, 16-6. Knowing how much of a defensive struggle this game has been so far, that 10 point deficit seemed to be a 20 point deficit for the Jets, especially with the way the Steelers defense has been playing all game.
Smith did have opportunities to bring the Jets back into the game, but the Steelers defense stifled them each time. After the Steelers scoring drive, Smith led the Jets down to the PIT 23 yard line. Smith, on 3rd and 3, throws a ball deep right to Konrad Reuland and gets picked off by Ryan Clark at the PIT 1 yard line. That interception proved to be devastating for the Jets because that gave Steelers all the momentum and the Jets weren’t able to at least get a field goal out of the drive.
Jets were forced to punt on their next three drives. Late in the 4th quarter, Smith led the Jets into the red zone. On 1st and 10 at the PIT 12 yard line, Smith throws the ball as he was hit by Jarvis Jones. The ball wobbles in the air to Lawrence Timmons for his 2nd interception of the game and that sealed the Jets’ fate.
The Jets defense didn’t play badly besides the one mistake made which led to the 55 yard touchdown from Roethlisberger to Sanders. Lined up in the slot, Antonio Cromartie was fooled on Sanders’ fake to the outside which allowed Sanders to cut back inside of him and run by him. Cromartie didn’t have any help up top from the safety and Sanders was wide open which led to the touchdown.
Jets have been alternating wins and losses all season, and that trend continued today with a loss. They are now two games out of the AFC East lead with Tom Brady leading the New England Patriots (5-1) to a dramatic late win over the New Orleans Saints, 30-27.
Next week, the Jets will face the Patriots at Metlife Stadium in a big divisional match up which will determine the Jets’ chances of winning the division.
Key stats: Geno Smith finished the day completing 19 of 34 pass attempts for 201 yards and 2 INTs. Jets couldn’t get much going on the ground, Bilal Powell was the Jets leading rusher with 30 yards off of 9 carries. Jeff Cumberland was the Jets leading receiver with 4 rec. for 59 yards.
David Harris led the Jets defense with 10 tackles and a sack. Garrett McIntyre and Muhammad Wilkerson also had a sack each. Calvin Pace and Leger Douzable also contributed with half a sack each. Jets defense did a good job putting Roethlisberger under pressure at certain points throughout the game.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 23 of 30 pass attempts for 264 yards and a TD. Jets defense stuffed the run as Le’Veon Bell could only manage 34 yards off of 16 carries. Antonio Brown was the Steelers leading receiver with 9 rec. for 86 yards. Heath Miller contributed with 6 rec. for 84 yards and Emmanuel Sanders had 3 rec. for 70 yards and a TD.
Ryan Clark led the Steelers defense with 8 tackles and a INT. Lawrence Timmons also contributed with 6 tackles and a INT. Jason Worilds, LaMarr Woodley, and Ziggy Hood each contributed with a sack each as Steelers defense had Smith under constant pressure.
Check out game highlights here.