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Steelers vs. Jets Final Score: Turnovers doom Kenny Pickett’s debut, Steelers lose 24-20 to Jets

The Kenny Pickett era got off to a rough start after losing 24-20 against the New York Jets in Week 4.

NFL: New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets entered Week 4 in a similar situation. Both teams were 1-2, desperately needing a victory to keep pace in the highly competitive AFC. Back at Acrisure Stadium for just the second time this season, the Steelers were hoping to win their second game, the only one they’ve been favored in during the 2022 regular season.

After the Jets won the coin toss, they elected to defer their possession to the second half. Mitch Trubisky and the offense took the field to start the game, and put together a really nice drive featuring great running by Najee Harris and several third down completions to Pat Freiermuth. However, an illegal man downfield penalty on James Daniels negated a first down completion to George Pickens, and stalled the drive.

Following Pressley Harvin’s first punt of the game, the Jets’ first drive of the game started at their own 9-yard line. The New York drive lasted just three plays before sending the ball back to the Steelers’ offense.

On the first play from scrimmage, a Trubisky pass intended for Diontae Johnson deflected off his hands and was intercepted. The Jets, on a short field, were only able to turn the takeaway into a Greg Zuerlein field goal. It made the score 3-0 with 4:03 left in the first quarter.

Trubisky and the Steelers’ offense couldn’t gain a first down on their third drive of the game, giving the ball right back to the Jets’ offense. It didn’t take long for the Jets to capitalize, and the Philly Special play resulted in a touchdown pass to Zach Wilson. After the extra point the Jets extended their lead 10-0 with 12:37 left in the half.

Pittsburgh’s offense finally started to wake up on the next drive, and it was focused on the running game. Big runs by Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris moved the ball into Jets territory. Nearing the red-zone, Trubisky threw a beautiful pass to Diontae Johnson in the back of the end zone, but Johnson was not able to keep his feet in bounds. The drive resulted in a 51-yard Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 10-3 with 8:30 left in the half.

The two teams showed very little offensive production for the next several drives, and in the waning moments of the first half, with the Jets threatening, Cam Sutton intercepted Wilson with 20 seconds left in the half. When it looked like the teams would head into the locker room with a 10-3 score, a roughing the passer call on Carl Lawson gave the Steelers 15-yards and an untimed down. Chris Boswell nailed a 59-yard field goal to make the score 10-6 heading into halftime.

New York had a three-and-out to start the second half, and Kenny Pickett was sent into the game for the first Steelers possession of the second half. Pittsburgh went all-run on the drive, but on a play-action pass intended for Chase Claypool, the third year receiver isn’t able to high-point the ball and was intercepted. Pickett’s first NFL regular season pass, was an interception.

Pittsburgh’s defense had the rookie quarterback’s back, and on 3rd down Wilson’s pass was intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick and returned to the 4-yard line.

Three plays later it was Kenny Pickett plunging into the end zone for the Steelers touchdown.

After Boswell’s extra point, the Steelers took a 13-10 lead over the Jets.

Pittsburgh’s defense did the job on the Jets’ next job, giving the ball back to the Steelers offense. Pickett converted on several key third downs, none larger than a 3rd and 8 completion to Pat Freiermuth facing severe pressure. It set up a 1st and goal situation, and on first down Pickett plunged into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game.

Boswell’s extra point made the score 20-10 with 13:36 left in regulation.

Desperately needing a scoring drive, Zach Wilson and the Jets delivered. No play was bigger on the drive than the 4th and 7 converted on the cusp of field goal range. The risk yielded a high reward when Wilson hit Corey Davis for the touchdown on a 3rd and goal situation. The extra point made the score 20-17 with 7:31 left in the 4th quarter.

It looked like Pickett and the Steelers were going to at least add a field goal to their point total, but an ill-advised throw intended for Pat Freiermuth deflected off his hands and was intercepted, giving New York new life.

Several big plays set up the Jets’ offense in field goal range. Within a minute left in the game, New York ran the ball down to a first and goal situation. One play later, it was Breece Hall who got the football over the goalline for the Jets touchdown. The extra point was good, making the score 24-20 with 16 seconds left in regulation.

The 24-20 score would hold, giving the Jets the win.

The loss moves the Steelers record to 1-3, and they now face a murderer’s row before their Week 9 bye week. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2022 regular season.