PITTSBURGH (AP) – Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and four touchdowns and the surging Pittsburgh Steelers pulled away in the second half for a 31-13 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Sammie Coates caught six passes for a career-high 139 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard catch-and-run for a score on Pittsburgh’s opening drive as the Steelers moved the ball at will against a secondary missing injured star Darrelle Revis.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell racked up 154 yards of total offense, including a career-high nine receptions, while Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. The All-Pro receiver, who has been fined on multiple occasions this season for crossing the line during his celebratory dances, simply handed the ball to a fan in the stands.
New York’s Ryan Fitzpatrick avoided the interceptions that have plagued him this season, completing 25 of 38 for 265 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Marshall. Yet the Jets also mustered little offense in the second half and couldn’t keep up as the Steelers put together clinical scoring drive after clinical scoring drive.
Pittsburgh (4-1) played without starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert, but had little trouble protecting Roethlisberger from one of the NFL’s top defensive lines. Roethlisberger was sacked just once and rarely pressured as he spread the ball around. Six Steelers had at least two receptions.
New York took a 13-7 lead in the second quarter on a 15-yard lob from Fitzpatrick to Marshall, but the Steelers took the lead back with a brilliant 11-play, 75-yard drive in the final 2 minutes of the half, ending with a flip from Roethlisberger to Jesse James.
Roethlisberger hit Brown for a 5-yard score early in the fourth quarter to make it 24-13. The Jets (1-4) faced a fourth down at its own 34 on its next possession and opted to punt. Still down two scores later in the fourth, New York again opted to kick on fourth down at midfield with 7:29 left.
Pittsburgh responded by going 79 yards in 12 plays, ending the competitive portion of the afternoon with Roethlisberger’s second touchdown pass to Coates.
Jets: Linebacker David Harris exited late in the first half with a hamstring injury. Center Nick Mangold went down in the third quarter with a knee injury and cornerback Darryl Roberts left in the third quarter with a shoulder problem. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson left in the fourth quarter after injuring his knee while recovering a Roethlisberger fumble, but returned.
Steelers: Defensive end Cam Heyward, whose three sacks lead the team, left in the first half with a left hamstring injury and did not return. Safety Shamarko Thomas also left in the first half with a left groin injury.
Jets: travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Monday Night Football on Oct. 17.
Steelers: continue their three-game swing against AFC East teams when they visit the Dolphins.
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)