After being up 24 points at the half a lot of people will be writing about the near epic collapse of the Steelers, but I see it differently.
On the halftime show; Boomer, Cowher and Shannon ALL encouraged the Jets to abandon the run and the Steelers came out expecting the pass (as they should have). Sanchez set up that bomb to Holmes with a bunch of solid runs to start the half (gutsy calls), then BAM, SIX! Not sure what happened on that play but Santonio getting behind the secondary was one of the only disappointing plays in my mind.
With that kind of a lead two things are expected, one that the team behind will make some sort of run and that the Steelers would alter their schemes to "take the air out of the ball" and shorten the game. Time was on their side and the needed to use it. The Jets kept the Steelers D off balance by continuing to mix the play calling and put together a great eight minute, eighty yard drive. They had the guts to go for it and convert two fourth downs on that drive, but on fourth and goal from the two, LT was stuffed cold, zero points, that could have been ball game right there, except....
As they went to commercial the first thing that popped into my mind was the safety from the first meeting. "Just get it out of the end zone" went through my head. No such luck, Ben mishandles the snap, two points Jets and they get the ball back. That was a worst case scenario, because the defense needed a rest and they were not going to get it.
I was sure the Jets would score that ensuing TD, their offense was in rhythm and the Steelers were tired. As much as it pained me to see the score at 24-19, I wasn't pissed. Felt like they called the right game and the Jets had the balls to go off script AND to execute at a high level. Props to them.
Three minutes to go, Jets have all their time outs left and the Steelers are going to have to make them use them... right? right?
Here is where Bruce Arians gets a little love back. After a great kickoff return by Brown, the Steelers had a little more flexibility in play calling. In the five plays before kneel downs the Steelers threw it twice. On the 3rd and six play to Antonio Brown the whole world thought they would run it and give it back to the Jets with about 1:20 left. Nope, didn't even try to hide it either, empty backfield, was a pass all the way. The Jets seemed as confused as I was in trying to line up for the play and Ben made the pass that sealed the game.
Damn gutsy call.