Living away from home hurts the most on Sundays because being outside of the region, watching or listening to Steelers games is like a treasure hunt every week, and I usually end up figuring something out by the time the game kicks off. Without an NFL mobile pass or some type of subscription, this week's medium for which I listened to the game was via ESPN New York radio, where I was able to hear the crowd of 60,000+ erupt as the Steelers ebbed and flowed through a toucher than expected game against the Jets. It was no Tunch Ilkin, but it sufficed as I heard the Steelers roll to a commanding win after a shaky first two and half quarters all around.
It is rather frustrating to see a defensive see saw from week to week from giving up 34 points to a rookie quarterback one week, to only surrendering a couple garbage time touchdowns against the Chiefs, the first half looked like it was gonna be a repeat of Week 3, especially with a sputtering offense that has not mustered much more than a 72 yard TD pass and a textbook 2 minute drill to close out the half. Of course the first half could have ended much differently had Ross Cockrell held onto an interception in the end zone that instead ended in a touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall, who by the way is losing the receiving yards bet to Antonio Brown. (Looks like AB might be one Porsche richer in a couple months). The 7 point swing definitely gave Steelers fans a reason to start pacing nervously.
A third quarter field goal gave the Steelers a 17-13 lead and a little breathing room, and until 5 seconds into the 3rd quarter when Ben found AB in the end zone to put the Steelers up 24-13 and in control for the remainder of the game. The defense awoke in response to the 9 play, 80 yard scoring drive by the offense to clamp down on the Jets, not allowing any points down the stretch. After fumbling in the red zone in the middle of the 4th quarter, Ben rebounded to thrown for another score to Sammie Coates with 1:46 remaining in the game to put the 31-13 game on ice.
A 4-1 record is hardly the slow start that Steelers teams are prone to having, and this team should be confident heading into Miami next week. With an offense as scary as this one, I find it difficult to see how another team could beat them when they play at their best. Of course, therein lies the issue, consistency. This Miami team is no joke with an absolute stud in Jarvis Landry, but QB play and the Miami defense will be the difference next week. However, I fully expect another 30+ points out of the offense next Sunday.
That's a Pittsburgh Steeler's "First Down"!