In my way of thinking, there was no way the Jets (10-4) would come into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers (10-4), especially not after losing at home against the Dolphins last week, but here they go again surprising me and their fans with a not too pretty win at Heinz Field as the snowflakes fell like pixie dust all around them.
Mark Sanchez actually had a good game this week, looking like a man on a mission. He went 19 for 28 for 170 yards and made a seven-yard touchdown run that came as a surprise to everybody, but most especially the Steelers’ defense.
The game started with a great 97-yard run by Brad Smith who took the ball in for a 7-0 lead. If that didn’t take the wind out of the Steelers fans, it certainly gave Jets and their fans the shot in the arm they needed after the last two games that had knocked them (and coach Rex Ryan) off the playoff bandwagon.
The Steelers managed to take the game back by the end of the first half, and going into the locker room with a 10-10 tie was not what Ryan and his team wanted to see. Nevertheless, the Jets came back out in the second half and scored on Sanchez’s heads-up run and then Nick Folk’s 34-yard field goal. There was no looking back after that and the Jets were on their way to a much needed – and completely unexpected – victory.
What is still alarming is that the Jets’ offense and defense never seem to have a good day during the same game. While the defense is always the thing that Ryan likes to boast about, something like the Steelers not going into a huddle can seem to throw it off kilter. In the end the Steelers were coming down the field like a team that was going to score no matter what, but somehow the defense rallied and stopped them from scoring and the Jets got the win.
It goes without saying that this was a must win for the Jets, and now the playoffs are still a possibility for Gang Green. The big question is which team is going to show up from week to week. Ryan is lucky to be getting out of Pittsburgh with a victory, but the road to the playoffs is still a bumpy one, and we would expect nothing less in the soap opera As Gang Green Turns.