After both teams exchanged punts, the Jets were the next to strike with a short drive resulted in a Sam Ficken field goal to give the Jets a 10-0 lead in the early minutes of the second quarter.
Pittsburgh’s offense responded nicely with a big pass to Nick Vannett followed up with a hard run by James Conner to put the offense in New York territory. A horse collar tackle put the Steelers’ offense in the red-zone, but on 3rd down Hodges threw another interception, this in the red-zone. It was Hodges’ 6th interception in the last two games.
The Steelers’ defense forced a three-and-out after the turnover, and Mike Tomlin turned to Mason Rudolph to quarterback the team on the next drive. However, Rudolph could only manufacture one first down before calling on Jordan Berry for another punt.
Cameron Heyward and Bud Dupree put a quick end to the Jets’ ensuing drive, and Rudolph was given the chance to put points on the board before halftime. Coming out of the two-minute warning, Rudolph hit Jaylen Samuels with a nice screen pass to get the ball into field goal range. The drive stalled and the Steelers settled for a 49-yard Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 10-3 with 1:18 left in the half.
Adam Gase elected to try and add to his point total on the next drive, and on third down Darnold got up close and personal with T.J. Watt when Watt strip sacked Darnold and Pittsburgh recovered the football. With a minute left in the half, Rudolph moved the ball into field goal range, but hit Diontae Johnson with 4 seconds left in the half to tie the game up 10-10 at the break.