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Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 4 loss to the Jets

Looking at how the Steelers played against the Jets.

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

The Steelers faced the New York Jets in Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season. This game was considered a great chance for the Steelers to turn the early season around, or a chance to claim a win before hitting a brutal stretch of their schedule. Losing this game puts the Steelers at 1-3 and facing a four game stretch facing teams that are a collective 12-4. All four of their upcoming opponents rank in the top 12 teams in scoring differential. It won’t be an easy stretch.

So what happened to the Steelers against the Jets, and is there any hope for their upcoming games?


The Steelers offense changed up their approach in Week 4 a bit, focusing more on things that had worked in other games, getting Trubisky out of the pocket and getting both Pat Freiermuth and George Pickens involved early on. And while those plays worked decently, the offense with Trubisky still wasn’t scoring points. The Steelers switch to Kenny Pickett for the second half saw better ball movement and two touchdowns for the offense. 14 points in a half ties for the most the Steelers offense has accounted for this season, and they did it with Kenny Pickett throwing three interceptions.

Two interceptions hit the hands of their intended receivers, even if they weren’t the best/smartest throws to take, and the third interception was on a Hail Mary, so they weren’t the worst interceptions, but it stands out that with three drives ending in turnovers the offense still scored two touchdowns. Mike Tomlin said they made the switch looking for a spark, and they certainly got that. Twenty points from the offense is the most the Steelers have seen this season.

George Pickens recorded his first career 100-yard game, largely due to his 4/4 71-yard second half playing with Kenny Pickett. Pat Freiermuth also had a productive day with 85 yards on 9 targets. The run game saw Najee Harris gain just over 4 yards a carry with 74 yards on 18 carries, but Najee Harris still doesn’t look like the runner we saw in his rookie season. The Steelers offensive line continues to play well, outside of struggling with higher tier defensive lineman, in this game, that player was Quinnen Williams.

Despite their being some positive signs and season high scoring from the Steelers offense, it still wasn’t good enough.

Honor Roll: George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, the Kenny Pickett spark.

Demerits: Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, four interceptions.

Final Grade: D


T.J. Watt is out, Cameron Heyward is playing hurt, and while Minkah Fitzpatrick continues to find ways to make plays, the Steeler defense is in shambles. Cameron Heyward did not look like himself and admitted that he is playing hurt after the game, even if he refuses to allow that to be used as an excuse. Terrell Edmunds left the game late in the first half, and his loss was a big blow to the Steelers defense with his versatility in coverage.

The run defense again wasn’t good enough, and it showed up the most in play action with the inside linebackers committing quickly to run defense to try and stuff the run. and that opened up the middle of the field for the Jets receivers. Even with that, the Steelers had a good stretch through the middle of the game where they were shutting down the Jets offense with 6 straight drives ending in punts or interceptions. But after that they gave up two long touchdown drives in the fourth quarter that cost them the game.

Alex Highsmith recorded another sack to push his total to 5.5, but it was the only sack of the game, and in the fourth quarter Zach Wilson had time to throw or was able to create time to throw by eluding the rush. With a good number of key defenders looking like they will be on the injury report this week, and T.J. Watt still out, the Steelers are going to have an uphill battle preparing to face the Buffalo Bills in Week 5.

Honor Roll: Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Demerits: Run Defense, play action defense, third down defense.

Final Grade: F

Special Teams

Chris Boswell set a new stadium record with his 59-yard field goal, going 2/2 on the day. He also kicked a kickoff out of bounds, while another he put on the five-yard line with enough hang time to cause the Jets to end up starting behind the 20-yard line.

Pressley Harvin had a few short punts in this game, but the coverage didn’t allow any returns, while the Steelers kick and punt returns continue to underwhelm with Gunner Olszewski returning three punts for a total of 16 yards and fumbling again, this one recovered by James Pierre in a pile of Jets players.

Honor Roll: Chris Boswell’s 59-yard kick, James Pierre, Myles Boykin.

Demerits: Chris Boswell’s kick out of bounds, Gunner Olszewski.

Final Grade: C


Losing at home to the Jets when you have three extra days to rest and prepare is really, really bad. Those extra three days drive an already not good grade even lower, and even the first appearance of Kenny Pickett and the spark it gave the team and the fans isn’t enough to pull this grade out of the gutter.

Final Grade: F

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think. Vote your grade for the Steelers overall performance and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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