2022 Steelers Season Recall: Kenny and the Jets

Steel City Underground presents our 2022 Steelers Recall: a look back at Pittsburgh Steelers games and storylines from last season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the New York Jets for their Week 4 matchup at Acrisure Stadium, following what were two rough losses in back-to-back games: first at home against the Patriots and then a short week traveling to face the Browns in Cleveland for Thursday Night Football.

The Steelers fell short to the Jets by a final score of 24-10, but there were several highlights from that game.

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What could’ve been more exciting than seeing the Steelers first round draft pick, QB Kenny Pickett, finally take the field on Sunday?

Granted, most of us would’ve liked to have seen Pickett formally start the game, which is what was thought to happen on the “mini bye”. However, Mitchell Trubisky was still given the reigns as the starter, but was pulled at halftime following four drives that ended in punts, and two each that ended with field goals, plus another with an interception. Trubisky finished 7/13 for 84 yards and a 41.8 quarterback rating.

Pickett would fare a little better, as he sparked the Steelers offense, going 10/13 passing for 120 yards and ran for two touchdowns… unfortunately, Pickett’s debut was marred by three interceptions as well. Two of those passes came off of the hands of WR Chase Claypool and TE Pat Freiermuth.

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The Steelers defense was abysmal and only got to Jets QB Zach Wilson once the entire game: a sack by LB Alex Highsmith, who incidentally happens to be the NFL’s sacks leader heading into Week 5. However, the Steelers got to Wilson seven times (statistically) where they didn’t bring him down and had several opportunities where the second-year quarterback escaped their grasp.

The misses, as well as a lack of a rush at times, allowed the Jets to move the chains on critical third and fourth down plays throughout the end of the game, and was a huge contributing factor in the Steelers loss.

The ability to pass rush looks worse when you consider the Jets had three offensive tackles on injured reserve and a fourth that left the game Sunday.

One bright spot on the afternoon occurred on the final play before halftime, as Trubisky drew a roughing the passer penalty from the Jets, which led to an untimed down being played to extend the second quarter. With the ball originally marked on the Steelers 44, the flag marched the new line of scrimmage up to the Jets 41-yard line.

With nothing to lose and down 10-3, Tomlin sent K Chris Boswell out for a 59-yard attempt, which would be his career long as well as the longest-ever at Heinz Field/Acrisure Stadium.

Boz didn’t disappoint as the kick made it through the uprights and gave the Steelers an additional three points on the scoreboard heading into the half.

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Overall, losing to the Jets was a giant setback to the Steelers 2022 season, especially considering how Zach Wilson played in his first game back from injury versus how he would play the remainder of the year. They would fall to 1-3 on the season and only one spot (above the Houston Texans) from the bottom of the AFC standings at this point. However, the Kenny Pickett era was now upon us and anything could happen… stay tuned for next week’s article!

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