Below are 10 game-defining Plays in the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 5 win over the New York Jets.
10 – Six minutes remained in the first quarter and the Jets offense faced a 3rd and 9. Receiver Brandon Marshall was open on a crossing route and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threaded the needle between the Steelers’ defense. Inexplicably, Marshall dropped the pass even though he was wide open and the pass hit him in the hands.
9 – With 11:30 left in the 2nd quarter the Jets offense faced a 3rd and 9 at the Steelers 25. Fitzpatrick connected with wide receiver Charone Peake. He had plenty of space to work with in the open field but Steelers cornerback Artie Burns made a great tackle which stalled out the Jets drive. They were forced to kick a field goal and the Steelers maintained their lead; 7-6.
8 – Ben Roethlisberger has showed development as a game manager in his time under Steelers’ offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Perhaps no play better embodied this than on 3rd and 1 with four minutes left in the first quarter. The Steelers came out in 11 personnel with two receivers and tight end Jesse James lined up in a bunch right formation. The Jets defense “sugared” the “A gaps” with linebackers, meaning they were showing blitz on both sides on the center. Roethlisberger calmly audibled to an off tackle running play. Tackle Chris Hubbard and James executed great blocks and running back Le’Veon Bell found the crease and converted on 3rd and short. This play shows how far the offense has come as a unit. Even though they were shorthanded, the offensive group was on the same page and able to execute.
7 – Fitzpatrick fought to get the Jets offense going with a little less than ten minutes left in the 3rd quarter. On 3rd and 1 the Jets called a shuttle pass to running back Matt Forte. Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones was unblocked, played gap assignment defense and made a beautiful tackle to end the Jets drive.
6 – The Jets offense attempted to get something going on a drive with five minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Forte attempted a zone stretch run on first down, only to be swallowed up behind the line of scrimmage by Steelers linebacker Vince Williams and safety Jordan Dangerfield. Another stop that kept the Jets’ offense from staying behind schedule.
5 – Under a minute remained in the 3rd quarter and while the Steelers offense got to the Jets 33-yard line they were faced with a 3rd and 3. Jets defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins was caught offside and Steelers center Maurice Pouncey snapped the ball but only half of the defense reacted on account of the flags. As a result, Roethlisberger got a free play and he found wide receiver Sammie Coates down field for a gain of 22 yards. The big 3rd down conversion set up the offense in the red zone.
4 – Less than a minute remained in the half, Roethlisberger had operated the two-minute drill seamlessly and led the offense to the Jets’ two-yard line. On 2nd and goal the Jets had a blown coverage where two defenders followed Bell into the flat leaving nobody in the middle of the field to account for tight end Jesse James. Roethlisberger accounted for him, and threw another touchdown pass, cashing in on a 11 play 75-yard drive. Not to mention it gave the Steelers a 14-13 lead going into halftime.
3 – On the first play of the 4th quarter, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass with the ball on the Jets’ six-yard line. His offensive line did a great job protecting him and the quarterback surveyed the field. He eventually found an open Antonio Brown in the end zone for the Steelers third touchdown of the game.
2 – With less than two minutes left in the game the Steelers faced a 3rd and goal from the Jets’ five-yard line. Roethlisberger once again got great protection and found Coates in the end zone for the wide receiver’s second touchdown on the day. This red zone efficiency is something the offense needs to continue to nurture if they’re going to continue to be elite.
1 – No surprise here, but on 3rd and 7 Roethlisberger found Coates streaking past Jets’ cornerback Marcus Williams for a 72-yard touchdown pass and the wide receiver’s first NFL touchdown. This pass and catch set the tone for an effective passing game for most of the day.
What other plays do you think helped the Steelers pull out the win against the Jets?