Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Hangover: Looking Back At Debacle Against New York Jets


Waking up on Monday morning, we have to ask the question “Did it really happen, again?” Once more the Pittsburgh Steelers performed poorly on Sunday against an opponent with a losing record, like the 27-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4), victory meant winning four in a row and claiming first place in the AFC North Division. For the New York Jets (2-8), victory meant staving off a franchise-record nine losses in a row.

Desperation overcame inspiration on Sunday afternoon in East Rutherford, N.J., as the Jets defeated the Black and Gold 20-13 at MetLife Stadium. More to the point, the loss vaulted the arch-rival Cleveland Browns to the top of the AFC North Division – for the moment, at least!

It is not the first time that Mike Tomlin’s squad has stumbled near the Big Apple. In 2007, the Steelers had put together a 7-3 record and were coming off a 38-7 pounding of the Ravens when they pulled into the Meadowlands. New York owned an identical 1-8 record, and when the final gun sounded, the Jets walked out of MetLife Stadium with a 19-16 victory over the Black and Gold.

The New York offense put up 17 unanswered points in the first quarter and the Green and While defense kept the Steelers to a minimum of three points on the scoreboard for three quarters to capture their second win of the season.

The spotlight on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger grew dim as he completed 30 of 43 for 343 yards, two interceptions, and one touchdown. The 6-foot-5, 241-pound signal caller’s interception in the second quarter was his second red-zone pick of the season.

According to ESPN, Roethlisberger has the dubious distinction of joining Blake Rortles of the Jaguars, Drew Brees of the Saints, and Nick Foles of the Eagles as the four quarterbacks with multiple red-zone picks with two apiece. He was also sacked twice for a total loss 17 yards.

More from Ben Roethlisberger

Just a couple days ago, Roethlisberger told the media that offensive coordinator Todd Haley was in a groove with his play-calling. But, if true, how, in Week 10, could it unravel so quickly? Do you think Haley’s seat at the coaches table could be warm, again?

Instead, this day would see Michael Vick step into the pages of NFL history when he ran eight times for 39 yards to become the first quarterback to scramble for 6,000 career yards. The former Virginia Tech Hokie finished with more rushing yards than Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell, 39-36 and ranks 83rd on the NFL career rushing list.

The 6-foot, 215-pound signal caller also soldified his hold on the starting quarterback job in New York over Geno Smith, as he completed 10 of 18 for 132 yards.

After Nick Folk‘s 23-yard field goal at 7:08 of the first quarter, it was Vick’s scoring strikes to T.J. Graham and Jace Amaro in the opening frame that gave the Jets the lead for good.

It was also a career day for Jaiquawan Jarrett as it was the 6-foot, 196-pound safety who intercepted Roethlisberger both times. The former Temple University Owl had zero interceptions in 38 career games coming into Sunday. He also contributed seven solo tackles and a fumble recovery against the Black and Gold.

There were two solid performances for the Steelers as rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant had four receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown while linebacker Lawrence Timmons led the team with seven solo tackles and assisted on six more stops for a total of 13 tackles.

Bell did manage to haul in eight passes for 33 yards, giving him 55 receptions for the season, surpassing John L. Williams, who had 51 in 1994, for the most in team history by a running back.

Pittsburgh placekicker Shaun Suisham tried to keep his team in the contest as he went two for three on field goals and made his only extra-point on the day. The miss came when he hooked his kick wide left from 23 yards out to open the fourth quarter.

Defensive end Cameron Heyward played well for Pittsburgh as he contributed six tackles and a sack against the Jets. For his efforts, he was awarded the Steelers Digest Player of the Week honors.

The proud members of Steelers Nation can take comfort with their coffee in the fact that after Week 10 last season, Pittsburgh was 4-6 while this year they are 6-4.

The Black and Gold must keep their suitcases packed as they travel to LP Field in Nashville on Monday, Nov. 17 to take on the Tennessee Titans. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.