The Pittsburgh Steelers finally picked up their first victory of the season by defeating the New York Jets 19-6.
A lot of questions still remain when it comes to this team, but for the Steelers to finally find the win column it’s definitely progress. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a solid day: Big Ben was 23-of-30 with 264 yards and one touchdown. Despite being sacked a couple of times, the franchise quarterback was able to amount a lot of offense in this game.
Wide receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders helped his cause. Brown led the team with nine catches for 84-yards while Sanders reeled in three catches for 70 yards. Sanders would score the only touchdown in the game when Roethlisberger found Sanders wide open for a 55-yard bomb.
The Steelers rushing attack didn’t dazzle but provided the team with enough to help with their victory. Rookie Le’Veon Bell led the charge with 16 carries for 34 yards but was also effective as a receiver. Bell caught three passes for 22 yards. Felix Jones backed up Bell and carried the rock five times for 18 yards.
The Steelers defense rebounded against Jets. The defense finally came up with a turnover, in fact, they came up with two. The first came when Jets’ rookie quarterback, Geno Smith was intercepted by veteran safety Ryan Clark. The second takeaway came in the form of an interception as well. This time Lawrence Timmons was there to pick off Smith. The Steelers’ defense did what they needed to do against Smith. A lot of pressure led to Smith’s two turnovers as well as the Steelers ability to shut down the Jets’ rushing attack.
There was definitely a lot to like this week when it came to the Steelers. Roethlisberger continues to look sharp and the offense appeared to be in a good rhythm all game. A few missed opportunities including a dropped touchdown pass by Brown, led to multiple field goals by Shaun Suisham. Suisham connected on four field goals in this game. The field goals plus Sanders’ touchdown was enough to lift the Steelers over the Jets but settling for field goals isn’t going to cut it when the Steelers tussle with likes of Baltimore, who they face next week.
The Steelers’ offensive line continues to be the worst part of this Steelers team. Even in this win the offensive line struggled. Roethlisberger managed to escape a sack that would’ve led to a safety due to the poor blocking up front. Roethlisberger was sacked four times in this contest.
The lack of protection is leading to Todd Haley calling more screen plays on offense. The Steelers came out running screens with just about everyone in the early going. The screens can be effective but there’s no doubt the Steelers are more productive airing out and letting Big Ben get the job done.
The Steelers’ newly acquired tackle Levi Brown managed to injure himself during warmups. Head coach Mike Tomin told the media after the game that his injury seems pretty significant. By the sounds of it, the newly acquired tackle’s season seems to be in doubt. That’s not encouraging news as Kelvin Beachum, who played left tackle against the Jets doesn’t seem to be the long-term answer. Beachum was called for holding on several occasions. It’s evident that Beachum is struggling just like the rest of the offensive line.
It may only be one win but it’s a step in the right direction for this Steelers team that hasn’t experienced a win in quite sometime. The Steelers committed no turnovers in this game and that’s a trend they’d like to follow while the defense would like to generate more after picking up their first two of the season.
The Steelers will look to keep the winning ways going as AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens fly into Pittsburgh for a divisional show down. A 1-4 record isn’t something to be proud of but picking up your first win of the season is something that’ll boost the Steelers confidence going into a important matchup against the Ravens.