1:00 PM ET, October 13, 2013
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Sunday Blitz: Steelers-Jets Recap
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers were tired of seeing that dreadful zero in the win column.
Now, they've got one victory. They think this could be only the beginning.
More Steelers-Jets coverage
The Steelers' first win of the season restored a sense of normalcy for a franchise unfamiliar with failure, Scott Brown writes. Blog
After his breakthrough performance on "Monday Night Football," Geno Smith faced the wrong team at the wrong time, Rich Cimini writes. Blog
The Steelers snatched the Jets back to reality, reminding everyone that this is the same old Gang Green, Ian O'Connor writes. Story
• Radio: Mike & Mike weigh in
"We're not going to quit," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "Obviously, it wasn't the start we wanted, but the men in this locker room believe there's a chance that something great could come out of this if we all work toward it."
The Steelers (1-4) were off to their worst start since 1968, when they lost their first six games during a season in which they finished 2-11-1.
"Oh, it's big," Roethlisberger said.
The victory was also the 600th in franchise history, including the postseason, as Pittsburgh became only the fourth team to reach the milestone and the first from the AFC.
"It's tough because when you have that zero, your mind automatically goes to, 'Let's get this first win,' " safety Ryan Clark said. "Now, you're just trying to win each game and there's not as much pressure on each and every play."
Pittsburgh was coming off a bye after last playing two weeks ago in London, a 34-27 loss to Minnesota at Wembley Stadium. The Steelers appeared quite a bit sharper than New York, which had a short week to prepare after a 30-28 win at Atlanta last Monday night.
"I think getting away (helped), having a bye and everyone looking in the mirror, to see what you can do to help this team win," said Keisel, who left with a rib injury but doesn't expect to be sidelined.
Geno Smith was intercepted twice by a Steelers defense that entered as the only team without a takeaway. The last came with the Jets (3-3) at the Steelers 12 with just over 3 minutes left when Smith was hit by Jarvis Jones as he threw. The wobbly pass was picked off by Lawrence Timmons -- sealing the win for Pittsburgh.
Steelers Defense Back To Normal?
The Steelers held Geno Smith to 8-of-15 passing for 64 yards and two interceptions when using a standard pass rush Sunday. Pittsburgh's defense allowed almost half as many yards (64) with a four-man rush Sunday as it averaged in the first four games of the season (127).
Steelers' Pass Defense, Four Pass Rushers or Fewer
|First 4 Games||Sunday|
|Yds per att.||6.7||4.3|
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
"I'm just frustrated to lose the game," Smith said. "I understand there's going to be growing pains and things to learn, but we don't go out there with that mindset."
It could be a costly loss for the Jets. Running back Bilal Powell (shoulder), wide receiver Clyde Gates (shoulder), cornerback Kyle Wilson (head) and running back Mike Goodson (knee) all left and didn't return. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injuries.
"They outplayed us," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "We have to play with more consistency, obviously. We're striving for consistency and we're not quite there.
"We have to get there in a hurry."
Smith, who was turnover-free at Atlanta while throwing for three touchdowns, was 19 of 34 for 201 yards.
Sanders gave Pittsburgh a 16-6 lead just 2:30 into the second half with his 55-yard grab. On a third-and-1 play, he got in front of Antonio Cromartie -- who was questionable with a hyperextended knee -- and was wide open as Roethlisberger's throw arrived. Sanders sprinted the remaining 20 yards untouched before doing a leaping somersault into the end zone.
"I looked up and saw Emmanuel running by himself and kind of had to hesitate for a second because I couldn't believe he was so wide open," Roethlisberger said. "The only thought in my head was, `Don't overthrow him."
Pittsburgh got its first takeaway of the season -- a span of 18-plus quarters -- on the Jets' next possession when Clark picked off Smith's throw to Konrad Reuland into triple coverage in the red zone. The rookie later said he was trying to throw the ball away.
"We have the mindset that we can climb out of this hole together," Keisel said. "This was a step in the right direction."
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau improved to 16-2 in his career against rookie QBs. ... Since 2010, the Steelers are 14-1 when Roethlisberger's passer rating is above 100. It was 113.8 vs. the Jets. ... Steelers OT Levi Brown, acquired last week from Arizona, was a late scratch after injuring his right triceps during pregame warmups. TE David Johnson left early in the first quarter with an injured left wrist and didn't return. ... The Jets inducted DT Marty Lyons, who played for the team from 1979-89, into their Ring of Honor at halftime.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13: Guard Willie Colon #66 of the New York Jets streaches before the start of their...(Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.4||4.7|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-2||0-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|FG||3:29||Nick Folk 25 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 9 plays, 38 yds, 5:39
|FG||12:12||Shaun Suisham 46 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 10 plays, 52 yds, 6:18
|FG||5:28||Shaun Suisham 33 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 9 plays, 67 yds, 4:43
|FG||0:49||Shaun Suisham 48 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 8 plays, 35 yds, 3:18
|FG||0:05||Nick Folk 39 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 7 plays, 51 yds, 0:43
|TD||12:39||Emmanuel Sanders 55 Yard Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Shaun Suisham Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 64 yds, 1:31
|FG||12:12||Shaun Suisham 32 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 12 plays, 65 yds, 7:02
Geno Smith had a season-low Total QBR of 6.5 in Sunday's loss, continuing a trend of inconsistent play this season. He completed 2-of-10 passes with a pick on passes at least 15 yards downfield against the Steelers. He has completed 40.6 percent of his passes at least 15 yards downfield with no touchdowns and 5 interceptions in losses, and 65 percent of such passes with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception in wins.[+]
Geno Smith Total QBR by Week - This Season
The Steelers held Geno Smith to 14-of-24 passing for 130 yards and two interceptions when using four or fewer pass rushers Sunday. Ryan Clark's third-quarter interception of Geno Smith came with standard pressure, the Steelers' defense's first takeaway of the season. The Steelers' defense had allowed three touchdowns and no interceptions entering Sunday with a standard rush.
ESPN Stats & Information