The Jets still have plenty of fight left in them, and the Steelers still have to fight to win their division, after the Jets went to Pittsburgh and won a thrilling game, 22-17.
It was a game that went down to the very last play, with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing incomplete into the end zone with no time left on the clock. To get to that point, Roethlisberger had marched the Steelers 82 yards down the field, using his feet to buy time and pick up a 22-yard run, and his arm to make several big passes, including one to Emmanuel Sanders for a 29-yard gain on a crucial third-and-24. But as close as the Steelers got, they couldn’t pull it out in the end. Roethlisberger had three near misses in the end zone in the game’s final seconds.
Brad Smith got things started for the Jets by returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers answered in the second quarter with a 16-play, 96-yard drive that culminated in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Matt Spaeth to make the score 7-7, and that was the back-and-forth nature of the game: The Jets took a 10-7 lead, then the Steelers made it 10-10. Rashard Mendenhall scored a two-yard touchdown to make the score 17-10, then Mark Sanchez scored a seven-yard touchdown to make it 17-17.
But the Steelers failed to answer when a Jets field goal made it 20-17, and then Jason Taylor tackled Mewelde Moore in the end zone for a safety to make it 22-17.
This was a game that had everything — except a last-second touchdown, as the Steelers’ final drive came up just short. As Jets coach Rex Ryan walked off the field, he shook hands with Steelers players and coaches and said, “You know we’ll play again.”
If the Jets and Steelers do meet again in the playoffs, NFL fans can only hope it’s as good a game as we got today.