Hoping to upset the Steelers in front of what was essentially a road crowd in their own stadium, the Jets came through and found a way to squeak out a win against Pittsburgh with a mix of Delvin Hodges and Mason Rudolph at quarterback. The 16-10 victory moves the Jets to 6-9 with a chance to win their seventh game of the season next week when the Buffalo Bills will likely sit their starters.
As per usual, Darnold was on fire in the games openining sequence, completing all six of his pass attempts on a drive that was capped with a beautiful 23-yard TD strike to Robby Anderson who made a fantastic leaping grab in double coverage. From that point on, Darnold went 10-20 while cathing a break on an interception that was blown by the officials.
Running Backs: C
The run blocking was weak yet again as Le’Vebon Bell was limited to just 2.9 yards per carry, picking up just 72 yards on 25 carries. Bell also had four receptions for 21 yards. Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell combined for 10 yards on 3 attempts.
Wide Receivers: C-
After Anderson’s score on the opening drive, the receivers didn’t make a ton of noise and even had a couple of drops. Jamison Crowder led the way with 60 yards on four receptions.
Tight End: D
Not much production here but Treveon Wesco finally got the chance to make a play and picked up 32 yards on his lone target. The Jets targeted the tight end on just one other play, an incomplete pass to Daniel Brown.
Offensive Line: C-
Both Brandon Shell and Kelvin Beachum gave up sacks on plays that saw them get dominated by TJ Watt and Bud Dupree, but there were plenty of instances in which Darnold had time to drop back and scan the field. Watt and Dupree make up one of the best tandems in the NFL, so a sack each doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. The run blocking was obviously quite poor once again.
Defensive Line: B
Folorunso Fatukasi and Kyle Phillips each picked up heir first career sacks and Quinnen Williams picked up another. Tarell Basham also picked up his first career interception. The Steelers rushed James Conner and Kerrith Wythe for 54 yards on 12 carries but they abandoned the run as they couldn’t get any rhythm. Another stout effort from the big men up front.
The linebackers played a big role in holding the Steelers to just 10 points as James Burgess and Neville Hewitt combined for 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and a sack (Hewitt).
A blown coverage in the closing seconds of the first half prevent this grade from being an A. Bless Austin was beat deep on a play that may have been a case of Austin expecting safety help. Marcus Maye had an interception in the end zone to keep the Steelers off the board at one point and then saved the victory by breaking up a would-be TD in PIttsburgh’s final drive. Jamal Adams led the team with 6 solo tackles, two of which were for loss.
Special Teams: A
Sam Ficken was a perfect 3-for-3, with a log of 54 while Braxton Berrios went for 11 yards on his lone punt return. Lac Edwards had a terrible punt late in the game but the unit as a whole was excellent.
Gregg Williams’ defense got the Jets 16 points to hold up for the victory. Once again we saw the Jets offense humming on the first drive, but then went in to a shell the rest of the way. After the opening drive it was all Sam Ficken to extend the lead. After his early touchdown, Robby Anderson was largely invisible and Le’Veon Bell saw just four targets. Late in the contest, Gase showed little confidence in Darnold as he ran the ball on 3rd and long, giving the ball back to the Steelers. It was a move that may have meant a win for Pittsburgh if not for Marcus Maye’s pass break up.