The Pittsburgh Steelers entered their Week 16 game vs. the New York Jets at Metlife Stadium with full control of their playoff destiny. Win their last two games and you are in, but it all started with beating the Jets on the road. Going against the stingy Jets defense and former teammate Le’Veon Bell wouldn’t be easy, and Sam Darnold and company started the game with the football.
The first New York drive featured an uptempo attack with Darnold utilizing the versatility of Le’Veon Bell and a big defensive pass interference call on Minkah Fitzpatrick. On a 3rd and 9 on the cusp of the red-zone Darnold hit Robby Anderson for a 23-yard touchdown pass to give the Jets an early 7-0 lead.
With 10:27 left in the quarter, Devlin Hodges and the Steelers’ offense got their chance to answer. A third down conversion to Dionate Johnson and some nice runs by James Conner moved the ball to the New York side of the field, but on third down Hodges’ pass was intercepted. It was the 22nd consecutive game the Steelers have given the ball away in some way.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Jets had the ball, and were driving, to end the first quarter.