Jets Rally For Victory Over Pittsburgh

Improbable victory is team's first ever in Pittsburgh

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Grading Out Jets/Steelers

Grading out the Jets victory yesterday...

Quarterback (B+) - It was an efficient, poised performance from the Jets second year quarterback. Mark Sanchez protected the football and looked sharp in the short and intermediate passing game. Considering the road the Jets will have to take if they want to reach a Super Bowl, seeing him play well in Pittsburgh was very encouraging.

Running Backs (B) - LaDainian Tomlinson looked much more spry than he did in recent weeks and combined with Shonn Greene, did just enough to keep the Jets offensive attack balanced. 89 yards on 23 carries for Tomlinson and Greene is nothing to be ashamed of against this defense.

Wide Receivers (A-) - Braylon Edwards picked a great time to play his best game as a Jet. He was repeatedly clutch and tough over the middle, hauling in a few highly difficult catches. Santonio Holmes contributed 6 receptions for 40 yards in his old stadium.

Tight Ends (B) - A quiet day for Dustin Keller with 3 receptions for 19 yards but overall the blocking was solid from this group.

Offensive Line (A) - A very strong performance from this group who kept Sanchez clean and got a solid push in the running game. Wayne Hunter filled in admirably for Damien Woody.

Defensive Line (C) - Not the best day at the office for this group, who allowed Rashard Mendenhall to rack up 100 yards and a touchdown. They were short on depth with Trevor Pryce out of the line-up.

Linebackers (C) - They catch some slack for the poor run defense also. Jason Taylor came up huge with a monster safety late in the game. The Jets need him to be active if they are going to make a run in January.

Secondary (B) - Ben Roethlisberger barely completed 50 percent of his passes and Drew Coleman turned in a career day with 10 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

Special Teams (A) - Returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown is exactly what this team needed, as Brad Smith continued his push for a Pro-Bowl spot. Steve Weatherford and Nick Folk both had strong games, which is encouraging at this time of the year.

Coaching (A) - Rex Ryan managed to have his team confident and emotional heading into this game and it payed off. Brian Schottenheimer out coached Dick LeBeau, in the biggest surprise of the day.

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Jets 22, Steelers 17: Jets Get First-Ever Win In Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Mark Sanchez scrambled for a game-tying touchdown and the New York Jets scored 12 unanswered points to snap a two-game losing streak with a 22-17 win over Pittsburgh.

The Jets defense bent, but didn’t break as Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a drive in the final 2:08 of the game. Roethlisberger threw incomplete into the end zone on a 10-yard pass after time expired.

It was the first time the Jets ever won a game in Pittsburgh. They were 0-6 in the Steel City entering the game.

Pittsburgh took a 17-10 lead on Rashard Mendenhall’s two-yard touchdown run on the first series of the second half, but Sanchez scored on a bootleg to tie the game and the Jets (10-4) moved ahead in the fourth quarter on Nick Folk’s 34-yard field goal and a safety when Jason Taylor tackled Mewelde Moore in the end zone.

Sanchez completed 19 of his 29 passes for 170 yards, hitting Braylon Edwards eight times for 100 yards. Although he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, Sanchez’s scrambling score in the third quarter was New York’s first offensive touchdown in 12 quarters.

Brad Smith ran the opening kickoff back 97 yards, taking it down the right sideline for the Jets’ other touchdown on Sunday.

The Steelers (10-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since November 14 to New England.

Roethlisberger ran 22 yards for a first down on the final drive and completed passes of 29 yards to Emmanuel Sanders, 18 yards to Mike Wallace and 16 yards to Antonio Brown to take the Steelers from their own eight-yard line to the New York 10.

But his throw to tight end Matt Spaeth in the left side of the end zone with zeroes on the clock wasn’t close to being completed.

Roethlisberger finished 23-of-44 for 264 yards and a nine-yard touchdown pass to Spaeth that tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter. Mendenhall rushed 17 times for 100 yards.

The teams traded field goals at the end of the first half - Folk kicked a 25 yarder and Shaun Suisham was good from 42 yards — and headed to their locker rooms tied 10-10.

Mendenhall’s bruising two-yard run through the middle of the line capped Pittsburgh’s 74-yard drive to open the third quarter and made it 17-10.

New York had been without an offensive touchdown since Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes for a 13-yard score in the third quarter of a 26-10 win over Cincinnati on November 25.

In between then and Sunday, the Jets suffered two embarrassing losses: a 45-3 dismantling by AFC East rival New England and a 10-6 loss in the rain to Miami last week.

Sanchez put an end to the streak, perfectly executing a fake handoff and taking the bootleg into the end zone on the left side to cap a 66-yard drive and tie the game at 17-17. The Jets gained 30 yards on one play when Edwards caught a 15-yard pass and the Steelers were called for unnecessary roughness.

Pittsburgh punted, and Folk booted a 34-yarder to give New York the lead 4:53 into the fourth quarter.

Three series later, Pittsburgh was pinned down at its own three-yard line by a Steve Weatherford punt. Moore took a handoff on the first play and was met at the goal line by Taylor, who threw him down for the safety and a 22-17 lead.

Without the safety, the Steelers could have tried a game-tying field goal on their final drive. Instead they needed a touchdown, and Roethlisberger’s offense came up 10 yards short.

Holmes had six catches for 40 yards…LaDainian Tomlinson led New York with 49 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Shonn Greene had 40 yards on 12 runs…Roethlisberger fumbled twice, but didn’t lose either one…The Jets are 3-1 in the last four meetings…Tomlinson had one catch, joining Marshall Faulk and Larry Centers as the only NFL running backs with 50 or more receptions in nine seasons.

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Jets At Steelers: Troy Palomalu Doubtful

Pittsburgh Steelers play-making, hard-hitting safety Troy Palomalu is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets with an ankle injury.

Palomalu did not practice this week as Pittsburgh prepped for the Jets.

“You don’t replace Troy Polamalu,” said reserve safety Ryan Mundy, who practiced with the first-team defense in Polamalu’s absence during the week. “But there is a standard set and that is to play hard and play physical.”

For the Jets this week DE Trevor Pryce (hip), S Eric Smith (concussion), T Damien Woody (knee) are out, S James Ihedigbo (ankle, knee) is questionable and C Nick Mangold (shoulder), DT Sione Pouha (finger), CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), WR Brad Smith (hand) are all probable.

For the Steelers, DE Aaron Smith (triceps) is out, Palomalu and DT Steve McLendon (stinger) are doubtful, E Heath Miller (concussion) is questionable and T Flozell Adams (ankle), CB Bryant McFadden (hamstring) are probable.

The Jets (9-4) have only scored nine points in their last two games, both losses.

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New York Jets At Pittsburgh Steelers - The P's Are Keys To A Jets Victory

It is without question going to be an ardous task for the Jets to get a victory this Sunday and they are rightly major underdogs. However, here is how they can pull the upset --

1. Points, Points, Points - The Jets need points from their defense or special teams to supplement their offense on Sunday. Their best bet is Santonio Holmes taking one to the house on a punt or Antonio Cromartie taking advantage of an errant Ben Roethlisberger pass.

2. Pressure - Pittsburgh has struggled to protect Roethlisberger in the pocket and because of that, struggled to consistently move the football. The Jets have to get after him early and bring him down when they have a chance. Pittsburgh's offense is most dangerous when Roethlisberger is improvising outside of the pocket.

3. Protect - The Jets can't afford to turn the football over and give Pittsburgh a short field. Mark Sanchez needs to eat the ball instead of trying to fit it into a tight spot and not leave the ball around his waist, when the pass rush is coming. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu isn't expected to play, which is a nice boost to this key.

4. Pound - Despite Pittsburgh's ability to stop the run, the Jets can't completely abandon their ground attack. Shonn Greene needs to lead the way and Joe McKnight needs some chances to run on the edge. Sorry LaDainian Tomlinson but you have lost about 3 steps since week 1.

5. Pray - For the fanbase, pray that the Jets aren't going to send you to Chicago for a must win in week 16 and then have to beat the upstart Bills at home for a playoff spot.

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Jets Week 15 Playoff Clinching Scenarios

How the Jets can clinch a playoff spot in week 15 -

1) Jets Win + Miami Loss or Tie + Indianapolis Loss or Tie + Kansas City Loss

2) Jets Win + Miami Loss or Tie + Indiannapolis Loss or Tie + San Diego Loss or Tie

3) Jets Tie + Miami Loss + Indianapolis Loss or Tie + San Diego Loss

Games of Interest -

  • New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers - 4:15 PM
  • Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins - 1 PM
  • San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers - Thursday, 8:20 PM
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts - 1 PM
  • Kansas City Cheifs at St. Louis Rams - 1 PM
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