The first half was certainly eventful, seeing Devlin Hodges benched after throwing two interceptions. The Jets scored a touchdown on their opening drive and later added a field goal, but the Steelers were able to respond, matching their 10. T.J. Watt forced a strip sack late and recovered the fumble himself, which ultimately led to a 29-yard touchdown from Mason Rudolph to Diontae Johnson, the fifth of the year for the latter, to tie the game with seconds remaining.
James Conner left the game with an injury, and as of now is questionable to return. JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a non-factor, targeted once and unable to make the catch.
Kerrith Whyte got to the 30 on the kick return. Conner did not return. Whyte stayed in and got maybe two on first down. Rudolph completed to Smith-Schuster for a first down for about eight yards. At the 40, Jaylen Samuels was tripped up for no gain. A short five-yarder to Johnson over the middle. Now third and five, Vance McDonald was buried for a four-yard loss by Jamal Adams, forcing a punt. Jordan Berry’s punt was fair caught just inside the 20 for a net punt of about 45 yards.
Sam Darnold was able to scramble for a first down out past the 40 on third and three. Following a two-yard pickup to the 49, the Jets set up a great screen for 32 yards down into the red zone all of a sudden for a big rookie tight end.
At the 19, Bell was bottled up after one yard. Tyson Alualu nearly sacked Darnold, who ultimately had to throw the ball away. Now third and long, the defense was able to sack Darnold, Bud Dupree getting over 10 on the year now, and Watt and Dupree yet again both notching one in the same game. The Jets, however, were able to get on the board and retake the lead, 13-10.
Rudolph opened with a short pass to Washington for two yards. Benny Snell got four yards. Rudolph and Washington just missed a big connection, the receiver not able to get turned around down the field quick enough for an incompletion. Another punt fair caught inside the 20.
After two short runs, on third and four, Mark Barron had the ball hit him in the back down the field. Johnson fielded a rolling punt and returned it out past the 40. After a six-yard run, on which Pouncey was hurt, Rudolph was stepped on by B.J. Finney, resulting in a five-yard loss. Now third and nine, he hit Smith-Schuster for a tight-window throw for 14 and a first.
Whyte picked up three on first down to the Jets’ 40. After an incompletion down the field, Rudolph tried to get it to Samuels for a check, but he couldn’t hold on to the high pass. Berry’s punt was fair caught at the 10.
Darnold’s first pass was tipped by Mike Hilton, incomplete. Dupree now down after a five-yard gain, but he was able to get up and walk off under his own power. A lineman fell on him. Cameron Heyward also left the field, on the bench talking to Gie. This is becoming a mess. Pouncey now carted off. Darnold under pressure floated a pass just over Cameron Sutton for a would-be interception, instead incomplete and a three-and-out. Or it would have been if Snell hadn’t been flagged for a pre-snap penalty on the punt, giving the Jets a first down.
Bell picked up about three yards. Dupree now back in, Darnold was incomplete to Bilal Powell with Barron in coverage, so now the Jets punt on fourth and six.
Rudolph is currently out with an undisclosed injury, so now it’s Hodges back in, playing with his second center of the game. Because this season is totally normal.
Whyte picked up four yards on first down for the Steelers from the 39. Whyte gain, this time for eight to midfield. Snell got himself four. Off play action, Hodges to Johnson for 15, making more moves in the open field, a quick cut and stiff arm to pick up an extra five or so.
Now at the Jets’ 32, Snell avoided the original tackler for three or four yards. Hodges was chased down from behind by Quinnen Williams for a huge loss on the back side of a bootleg out of 13 personnel. Now third and long, knocked out of field goal range, Hodges bobbled the snap anyway and was sacked again. Bad snap. Amazing. Unforced errors. Fourth and 24 and a punt with under nine minutes. And a short kick to just the 21.
A couple of big completions for the Jets to start their drive from the 22, already at the Steelers, 44. After a three-yarder to Bell, he was limited to two on the ground. Now third and five at the 39, Bell cut through the line of his former team for seven and a first down.
A bad snap forced Darnold to eat the ball for a loss of three, back to the 35-yard line. Bell this time stuffed for a short loss to set up third and 13. They run the draw for Bell, who gets 10 and now well in field goal range. The Jets extend their lead to 16-10 with the Steelers now needing a touchdown to take the lead with under four minutes to go. If they do this right, this should be the final possession of the game.
Needing a touchdown from the 25, the Steelers open with a run to Samuels for one yard. Hodges looked like he wanted to scramble, but ultimately was sacked yet again for a short loss. Now on third and long, Hodges floated a ball over McDonald as the team executes an awful drive one second beyond the two-minute warning. They do have three timeouts remaining. Berry punts on 4th and 14, a 46-yard kick to the 32.
Bell stuffed for a loss on first down, Jordan Dangerfield in the game with the tackle. Guess they’re in their heavy base with three safeties. First timeout. On second and 12, he got three. Now third and nine after the Steelers’ second timeout, another loss of three for Bell, so they do what they have to do with the Jets playing as conservative as possible. Now the offense has about a minute and a half to score a touchdown with no timeouts. It was a bad punt with a good Steelers bounced, downed at the Steelers’ 40, so they need 60 yards to win.
Hodges was almost sacked but got it out to Johnson for seven, inbounds. A quick out to Deon Cain for the first, out of bounds in five seconds, 1:04 remaining, across midfield at the 47.
Hodges threw the ball away seeing noting available on the subsequent play. A quick pass to Samuels for about three. This is, of course, four-down territory. On third and seven, Hodges went for the bomb to Washington, but Marcus Maye was able to pull it out of his grasp. If the ball was thrown deeper, it would have been an easier connection. Now the game on fourth and seven, Hodges dropped the ball but got it out, just looking for Smith-Schuster, just over his hands. Game over, and now the Steelers need the Titans to lose next week, and beat the Ravens, to get into the postseason.