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What was the game-changing moment in the Steelers loss to the Jets?

The Steelers lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter in Week 4. What was the biggest moment that led to the defeat?

New York Jets v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have dropped their third-straight game of the 2022 season. After coming back from being down 10-0 in he first half to leading 20-10 in the fourth quarter, the Steelers defense couldn’t keep the Jets out of the end zone on either of their fourth quarter possessions..

But what was the biggest moment that sent the Steelers down the path to the loss?

With each win for the Steelers this season being where we hand out a game ball and look at the top individual performance, each loss we will take a look at what we will call the “game-changing moment” of the game. What was the individual play or a set of plays that ended up being the biggest contribution to the loss? While it does not necessarily come down to just one thing that keeps a team from winning, it also doesn’t mean that all the moments share equal blame.

Last week, the biggest game-changing moment was determined to be the illegal man downfield penalty which came in with 43% of the votes. After having their onl negative play on a first down of the game, the Steelers ran a beautiful pass to Jaylen Warren for 35 yards all the way down to the Browns 15-yard line. With the Steelers appearing to be in business in the red zone to add to their lead, the play was ultimately called back when Chuks Okorafor was called for being an illegal man downfield before the pass. Instead of being first and 10 at the Cleveland 15-yard line, the Steelers then faced a second 19 at their own 45.

I will reiterate for everyone of the rules that it is individual plays or series that will be highlighted from this game (yes, the injury to T.J. Watt in Week 1 could have a strong argument). Although it could be applicable, it will not be total performances as they are more in line for Jeff Hartman’s Winners and Losers article.

So here are the nominations in chronological order:

3rd & 6, 12:05 remaining

The Steelers scored a touchdown in the early moments of the fourth quarter to take a 20–10 lead on the Jets. On the ensuing possession, the Jets faced a third and six from their own 23-yard line with 12:05 remaining. If the Steelers were able to come through on this third-down play, they could have put a stranglehold on this game. Instead, Zach Wilson completes a pass to Garrett Wilson for 35 yards and moved the ball down to the Pittsburgh 42-yard line. Ultimately, the Steelers ended up surrendering a touchdown.

The botched pitch on 1st down

Holding on to a three-point lead, the Pittsburgh Steelers had already converted to first downs and had moved the ball to the Jets 31-yard line. Going no huddle, and catching the TV crew off guard to where most fans did not see the beginning of the play, there was a fumble credited to Kenny Pickett in what looked like a pitch play to running back Jaylen Warren. Warren recovered the fumble and gained some yardage back, but the play put the Steelers back five yards and behind the chains and on the cusp of field-goal range.

The Pickett interception off of Freiermuth

The next play after the Steelers fumble and loss on first down, Kenny Pickett scrambled and eluded pressure to throw a pass to Pat Freiermuth on the sidelines. Putting the ball where only his receiver could catch it or it would go out of bounds, the pass ultimately hit off of Freiermuth’s hands and deflected into the arms of a Jets player giving New York the ball at their own 35-yard line and the chance to tie the game or take the lead with 3:34 remaining.

1st & 20, 1:44 remaining

With just under two minutes remaining in the game, the New York Jets were called for an illegal block above the waist and were forced into a first and 20 from the Steelers 48-yard line. Outside of field goal range at the time, if the Steelers could have kept the Jets from getting a first down, the amount of yardage gained back would have ultimately determined the length of a tying field goal. Instead, Zach Wilson completed passes to Michael Carter for 11 yards followed by Corey Davis for 17 yards and set the Jets up with a first down at the Steelers 20-yard line with just over a minute remaining.

Defensive holding, 0:50 remaining

As the Steelers were attempting to hold the Jets to a tying field goal rather than a game-winning touchdown in the final moments, the Steelers had just made a stop on second and five for a gain of only one yard to the 14-yard line. But instead of facing a third and four, a defensive holding penalty was called on Tyson Alualu and the Jets were given a first down and goal at the 9 yard line where they would score the winning touchdown two plays later.

So what do you think? What was the biggest moment that had the most effect on the Steelers loss this week? Make sure you vote in the poll as this is how the winner (which is ultimately the loser) will be determined. And of course, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.


What was the game-changing moment in the Steelers loss to the Jets in Week 4?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    3rd & 6, 12:05 remaining
    (137 votes)
  • 3%
    The botched pitch on 1st down
    (38 votes)
  • 55%
    The Pickett interception off of Freiermuth
    (555 votes)
  • 16%
    1st & 20, 1:10 remaining
    (169 votes)
  • 10%
    Defensive holding, 0:50 remaining
    (102 votes)
1001 votes total Vote Now