As much as many have talked about this game against the New York Jets as potentially dangerous for the Pittsburgh Steelers, nobody in their right mind would have thought they would enter halftime trailing 17-3 thanks to three turnovers, including two fumbles by Antonio Brown. The Steelers did get a late swing as the Jets missed a 45-yard field goal in the final minute and Roethlisberger was able to commandeer a short drive that concluded in a 53-yard field goal to give the team some momentum as they set to receive the ball to start the second half.
Starting from the 20, Martavis Bryant picked up his first reception for nine yards. On second and one, in an empty backfield, Darrius Heyward-Bey had the ball broken up after getting hit for a dropped pass. Now third and one, LeGarrette Blount got the handoff, just picking up the first.
Lance Moore got his second reception of the game for 13 yards to get the ball moving. On the following play, Markus Wheaton made the catch but was hammered immediately after for six yards. On second and four, Bell converted through the air. The Jets were flagged for holding as the nose tackle held on to Bell coming out of the backfield for a pass. From the 40-yard line, Roethlisberger had time the throw and looked downfield in Wheaton’s direction, but Jaiquawn Jarrett was the closest player to the ball and picked it off for the second time in the game.
James Harrison tackled Chris Ivory by the leg on first down. Eric Decker spun around Brice McCain for nine yards on second down. On third and one, however, Willie Colon was flagged for his second false start of the game. Antwon Blake was there to smother him as the defense forced a three and out. The Steelers, however, responded with three straight incompletions, including two throws down the field to Bryant.
Vick went down the field to Decker for 14 yards across midfield. He scrambled for 18 inside the 25. After a short gain and a high pass, the Jets had third and long, but Vick converted for eight yards to Harvin to the 12. The Steelers tackled the tight end screen at the line of scrimmage. On second down, he overshot his receiver in the deep left corner of the end zone. Vick was chased out on third down and nearly threw an interception to William Gay, but he dropped it, allowing the Jets to make it a three-score game with a field goal.
Roethlisberger continued looking down the field for Bryant, and he was finally able to come back for one of them on an underthrow for 45 yards down to the 40. The Jets followed up with a sack for a loss of seven. On second down, Roethlisberger hooked up with Heath Miller on the run, coming up just shy of the first down. On third and short, Bell moved the chains. Miller was good for nine yards on the following play, with Bell converting again. From the 13, Bell was hit as he was going to catch the ball, resulting in an incompletion. On second down, Bell got the ball again, diving ahead for nine yards. On third and short, he was dropped for a loss to set up fourth and two at the end of the third quarter. Shaun Suisham missed the glorified extra point field goal. Because that’s what this day has been like.
Chris Johnson gained four yards on first down from the 20 after the miss. After an incompletion on second down, Jason Worilds came around the corner unblocked to rip Vick to the ground for a sack.
Starting from the 45, Wheaton got to the other 45 on first down. After an illegal block in the back penalty, Brown came back on the next play to gain a first down. From the 32, Roethlsiberger dropped back and could not connect with Bryant at the sideline. They went back to Brown for the first down. Down to the 20, Roethlisberger flicked the ball to Miller as he went down, and the tight end picked up four yards.
Bell picked up a couple yards to set up third and four. Brown, once again, made the catch and nearly got into the end zone after making a defender miss. On first and goal, Roethlisberger looked for…James Harrison in the end zone. Harrison served as the lead back on second down, but Blount could not get into the end zone. Blount lost about eight yards on second down. Roethlisberger’s third down pass was deflected. Suisham made it a two-point game with a field goal with eight minutes left in the game.
The Steelers recovered an onside kick, but Heyward-Bey was offside, negating the recovery. The Jets turned to clock killing mode, keeping it on the ground and just converting on third down to keep the drive moving. The Steelers did get the ball back with about four minutes left to play, down 14. Roethlisberger hooked up a couple times with Wheaton, and then Bell. Wheaton fell on the following play and the Jets nearly picked it off. Roethlisberger fumbled the snap, and recovered 16 yards behind the line of scrimmage. On fourth and 21, Roethlisberger threw a short pass to Brown as he was being tackled, resulting in a turnover on downs and effectively ending the game.
After forcing a three and out, the Steelers got a touchback with 1:38 to play and one timeout, down two touchdowns. After escaping pressure, Roethlisberger hurled the ball deep down the field, caught by Bryant and taken into the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown. Roethlisberger put that ball in the air about 63 yards. Unfortunately, the Jets easily recovered the onside kick.