The long-awaited first win of the season finally arrived for the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 19-6 road win over the New York Jets. The Steelers defense used their bye week to find ways to create significant plays versus a rookie quarterback. They harassed Jets QB Geno Smith throughout the game, forcing two second-half red-zone interceptions which crushed the Jets hopes of rebounding from a 9-6 Steeler lead at the half.
The Jets scored first on a 25-yard Nick Folk field goal in the first quarter. But the Steelers offense and special teams capitalized on back to back 3rd down sacks in the 2nd quarter by Jason Woirlds and LaMarr Woodley. Shaun Suisham had a perfect opening half by nailing field goals of 46-, 33-, and 48-yards giving the Steelers their first second half lead of the season.
The Jets offense managed a bit of momentum just before the end of the first half after Smith connected with WR Stephen Hill for a 20-yard reception. Hill held on after been completely crushed by Polamalu. Nick Folk’s 39-yard FG to end the half brought the Jets within 3 points.
The Jets opening drive of the second half was thwarted by a blitzing Troy Polamalu and tight coverage by Lawrence Timmons on WR Stephen Hill. Ben Roethlisberger and Emmanuel Sanders didn’t waste their opportunity. The duo exploited Jets star CB Antonio Cromartie knee injury suffered in practice with a 55 –yard strike on 3rd and 1 on their first possession of the 3rd quarter.
The Steelers defense forced a fumble on the Jets next drive but Smith was able to recover it for the Jets. He wasn’t able to save himself from throwing an easy interception in the redzone to FS Ryan Clark ending the defense’s turnover draught.
The Steelers offense was unable to score off the pick but quickly their defense ended the Jets subsequent possession. The Steelers defense shrugged off the Jets wildcat ways with some good plays by youngsters Vince Williams and Cortez Allen.
The Steelers offense went on a 12-play drive to give Suisham his fourth opportunity of the afternoon. The dependable Canadian’s 33-yard FG gave the Steelers a 19-6 lead with 12 minutes left in the game.
QB Geno Smith had his final failure of the night on their Jets last possession. Ziggy Hood sacked Smith on 1st down and a couple of plays later Rookie Jarvis Jones pressured Smith into a mistake. Jones forced Smith into an errant flow and Lawrence Timmons plucked the Steelers 2nd INT of the season and the first season victory.
NOTES: Steelers defense also held the Jets to just 83 rushing yards for their best game of the year. Brett Keisel injured his ribs and was replaced by Ziggy Hood. Newly acquired LT Levi Brown suffered a pre-game injury to his right triceps. He missed last season due to a right triceps injury. David Johnson dislocated his wrist and is likely gone for the season. Matt Spaeth is set to return from IR in a few weeks.