The Pittsburgh Steelers were desperate for their first win of the regular season and they invaded MetLife Stadium on Sunday determined to send the New York Jets home empty handed. Behind Ben Roethlisberger, who completed 23-of-30 pass attempts for 264 yards, one touchdown and a sterling passer rating of 113.8, the Steelers earned a pivotal 19-6 road victory over Gang Green.
After falling behind 3-0 late in the first quarter, Pittsburgh strung together three straight field goal scoring drives in the second stanza to build a 9-0 advantage with just 45 seconds remaining in the first half. With no timeouts remaining, Jets rookie Geno Smith marched his offensive unit 51 yards on seven plays and placekicker Nick Folk booted through a 35 yarder to give New York momentum heading into the tunnel at halftime.
New York failed to capitalize on its first offensive possession of the second half, going 3-and-out; much to the chagrin of the Jets' faithful. On Pittsburgh's ensuing drive, Roethlisberger hurled a pass deep for Emmanuel Sanders, who burned cornerback Antonio Cromartie for a 55-yard touchdown.
The Jets reached the Steelers 23-yard line on their next possession, but Smith floated an errant pass intended for double-covered tight end Konrad Reuland, and safety Ryan Clark hauled in the interception halting a potential scoring drive. Later in the third quarter the Steelers would tack on another field goal and extend the lead to 13 points. New York would have one last gasp inside the red zone with 3:00 minutes left in the contest, but linebacker Lawrence Timmons stepped in front of wide receiver Stephen Hill to quell the scoring threat.
Gang Green missed out a golden opportunity to build some headway in a weak AFC, while the squad from the Steel City ended its four game losing streak.
Both the Steelers and Jets will play their archrivals in Week 7 as New York prepares to host New England while Pittsburgh travels to Baltimore.