Steelers Attempt Comeback, But Fall To Jets 22-17

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Despite an attempted last-minute comeback by Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers fell to Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets 22-17 Sunday at Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger drove the Steelers (10-4) from their own 8 to New York’s 10 in the final 2:08, only to throw incomplete on the game’s final two plays, sealing the win for the Jets.

Roethlisberger repeatedly kept the drive going, finding rookie Emmanuel Sanders for 29 yards on third-and-24, Mike Wallace for 18 on third-and-10 and Antonio Brown for 16 on third-and-10.

The Steelers had to go for a touchdown rather than settling for a field goal because Mewelde Moore was tackled in the end zone for a safety with 2:38 remaining.

“Not enough significant plays, particularly there at the end to be victorious,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “You’ve got to tip your hat to the Jets, they made the significant plays to win and of course we didn’t.”

The Jets (10-4) won in Pittsburgh for the first time after going 0-7 there since the 1970 merger. Only two NFL teams have longer winless streaks in an opposing city during that span.

In the third quarter, the Steelers took a 17-10 lead on Rashard Mendenhall’s two-yard touchdown run.

However, Sanchez fooled the NFL’s best run defense by faking a handoff before racing into the end zone untouched. The seven-yard touchdown run tied the game up in the third quarter.

The Jets ran for 106 yards against a defense that came in allowing only 60 yards per game.

The Steelers, winners of their previous four, shook off Brad Smith’s 97-yard kickoff return on the game’s opening play to take that lead; but, playing without injured defensive star Troy Polamalu, fell back into a tie for the AFC North lead with Baltimore.

“All we needed was one play, you know. The second half reminded me of that Saints game where we just kept talking about one play and that never materialized for us. We just needed somebody to make one play,” said Steelers safety, Ryan Clark. “Hats off to the Jets, they came in with a game plan, Sanchez got the ball out of his hands extremely fast, they weren’t worried about going deep. You start the game off with a seven-nothing lead; you can stick to your game plan. They were smart, they played good football.”

Pittsburgh still owns the tiebreaker and will win the division if it beats Carolina and Cleveland in its final two games.

Sanchez, rallying the Jets from demoralizing losses to the Patriots (45-3) and Dolphins (10-6) that raised speculation they might be headed to a 2008-like playoff collapse, followed his TD run by hitting Braylon Edwards for 16 yards on a key third-and-9 play.

That completion led to Nick Folk’s go-ahead, 34-yard field goal on a snow-splattered turf with 10:07 remaining. Folk hit earlier from 25 yards.

For the Jets, Sanchez went 19 of 29 for 170 yards and Edwards made eight catches for 100 yards. However, the were outgained 378-276.

An 11-play Jets drive didn’t produce any points but wound down valuable time, and after the Jets punted, former Pittsburgh high school star Jason Taylor blew through the left side of Pittsburgh’s offensive line to tackle Moore for the safety.

Still, the Jets weren’t in the clear in a game they desperately needed to win. They couldn’t move the ball after the ensuing free kick, forcing them to hold off one last desperation drive by Roethlisberger, who has led a dozen and a half such drives to win games.

Long before that, Smith’s kickoff return directly in front of Pittsburgh’s bench got the Jets off to a promising start. No Steelers defender got a hand on Smith during the Jets’ NFL-leading 14th kickoff return touchdown since 2001.

The Steelers gave up a league-high four such touchdowns last season, but this was the first against them this season.

The Jets missed a chance to go up by two scores when a holding call negated Sanchez’s completion to former Steelers star Santonio Holmes at the Pittsburgh 5. Holmes had six catches for 40 yards.

Roethlisberger (23 of 44, 264 yards) then put together one of Pittsburgh’s best drives of the season, a 16-play possession that took up more than half of the second quarter and was completed by a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Spaeth.

Spaeth filled in as the primary tight end in place of Heath Miller (concussion), who sat out a second successive game.

Sanchez then found Edwards behind cornerback Bryant McFadden for 38 yards, leading to Folk’s 25-yarder. Shaun Suisham tied it at 10 with 33 seconds left in the half.

Mendenhall ran for 100 yards on 17 carries, only his second 100-yard effort in 11 games. Wallace had seven catches for 102 yards.

The Steelers don’t get much rest before their next game. The Carolina Panthers head into town on Thursday for an 8:20 p.m. showdown over at Heinz Field.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on the Steelers.


    steelers losing and of course;now they start trying to fight


    northside refs trying to help steelers; they only have to go 9yds. for first down

  • Al

    How many holding calls did the refs allow Antonio Cromartie get away with. The refs appeared to be deaf, dumb, and especially blind to the flagrant actions of the Jets!

  • David Lahr

    The Nascar football league seems to be to busy putting restrictor plates on the steelers and overlooking the other teams pass interfierence as just seen in todays game whats next”?

    • Al

      Apparently they are so focused on the “Helmet to helmet” contact that they don’t watch unimportant things like 4 holding incidents made by Antonio Cromartie.

  • Al


  • Romo From ATL

    This loss comes down to 3 plays.
    Flozells dumb @$$ penalty stops momentum.
    The flag on Ryan CLack extending their drive and scoring…

    Bruce Arian’s ridiculous draw play to a guy who wasn’t running well today 3 yards deep in the endzone. Where is Tomlin to tell BA this is the worst play call ever, change it! BA should have been fired years ago, and Tomlin is letting BA ruin what could be a great offense.

  • redrock100

    they cant beat a team with a winning record. case closed

    • jesod7777 jjjjj

      case closed? they beat the Falcons, without Big Ben, they have beaten the Ravens and the Raiders….all of those teams are above .500

  • Duane Hardek

    Stillers suck a$$

  • Honey L.Malik

    I wish we had Troy ,but the others olayers should have stepped up like they did when Troy was out & this was the ref’s faults for not calling penalties on Jets they didn’t call. Go STEELERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS God Bless !

  • redrock100

    They are an average team. dont get excited when thsy beat carolina because they will lose to cleveland.

  • Russ

    What a pitiful performance. Same old Steelers, missed tackles and missed opportunities. No Polamalu…no defense. What a joke. Just pack it in and try again next year if you can see fit to draft some decent corners and offensive linemen. Once again, Ben is shown up by a rookie. In two weeks, Colt will beat us too, then we will have to go on the road and lose again to the same team. This team can’t hold a candle to the teams of the 70’s. They at least had heart and the KILLER INSTINCT, which this team has neither.

    • flem

      What game were you watching? Ben played way better than Sanchez and hes not rookie. We just lost it was a great game blame spaeth he dropped the game winning touchdown

  • jesod7777 jjjjj

    People settle down, take a deep breath! The Steelers are still 10-4 with the second seed. Everyone on here is acting like we haven’t won a game all year! We’ll get Troy back in the playoffs and we will be fine! I remember everyone whining how awful everything was in 2005 as well. What did we in ’05,I believe we won a Super Bowl.

  • Don-Mars. Pa.

    Every time they go to the ‘hurry up’ offense and Ben Calls the plays, we seem to go right down the field. Bruce Arians still hasn’t figured out that this is a ‘passing league’ .. When Ben runs the hurry up offense, he moves out of the pocket a lot more and that seems to be when he does the most damage. Arians is set on making him a ‘stay in the pocket QB’ and taking away Big Ben’s ability to make things happen .And it’s really sad to see more & more teams coming into Heinz Field and celebrating a victory in Steeler Country.

    • derp

      yeah, it’s not like Mendenhall had 100 yards rushing and a 5.9 yard per carry average or anything… oh wait he did.

  • D Willis

    It’s pretty sad that not only do we have to beat the other Team, but we have to beat the referee’s too. Give the Steelers an even playing filed Goddell!!! Goddell you and you cheating refs. suck big time….

  • Jeremy

    Yeah it’s a little weird with those missed Cromartie holdings, that un-called grab on Sanders jersey that would’ve been a TD, or those THREE “dropped flags”. Comon’. Either way, we’re in the playoffs, regardless of seeding, so suck on that REFS! GO STEELERS!!!!





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