It wasn't pretty, but the NY Jets defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 to capture their first win in the Steel City since 2010. Let's take a look at a few brief takeaways.
Zach is back
His stat line might not show it, but Zach Wilson carried the Jets' offense to this win. Going 18-for-36 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, Wilson finished strong as he went 10-for-12 for 128 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also went 6-for-6 for 57 yards on the final drive of the game to take a four-point advantage.
“It was an ugly win but some of the most fun I’ve had playing football,” Wilson said. “I think there was so much growth in those last two minutes as an offense. To be able to put a drive like that together as clean as it was and punch it in was awesome.”
In addition, the second-year quarterback came up big on money downs as he went 7-for-16 on third and fourth downs and made history as the first Jets QB to catch a touchdown in franchise history.
“I’ve got the best hands on the team so I don’t have to worry,” Wilson said jokingly.
Next in (offensive) line
Things went from bad to worse for the Jets’ offensive line when rookie tackle Max Mitchell was carted off with an ankle injury in the second quarter.
Not only was Gang Green unable to get anything going in the run game, finishing with 98 yards, but Wilson spent much of the afternoon staring down Steelers as soon as the ball was snapped.
“Feels good to win in this league,” head coach Robert Saleh said. “I thought out o-line battled, it wasn’t exactly the prettiest game but I thought they did a good job battling and held up when we needed them to hold up.”
The problems the Jets have had at offensive line since training camp have been well documented. However, credit should be given to Gang Green for coming up big on the most important drive of the game now they will need to be able to build off it even if it’s with a pieced-together offensive line.
A week of reprieve for the NY Jets
It is hard to gauge the Jets right now considering at times they look like a lifeless football team and others look like the squad they were expected to be coming into the year.
If there is one thing Gang Green can hang its hat on a quarter of the way through the season it is that it pulled off two come-from-behind wins in the final two minutes on the road.
“When we got that opportunity after the interception it was just a really good precise drive,” Saleh continued. “In critical situations, the guys stepped up and made plays when they needed to.”
As Bill Parcells once said: “you are what your record says you are” and the Jets are the perfect encapsulation of that right now.
However, in order to make this season a memorable one they will need to show more on both sides of the ball and make sure not every win needs to come down to the final 120 seconds.