The Jets' second consecutive come-from-behind road victory belonged to Zach Wilson and his teammates as the Green & White scored 14 points in the game's final 7:31 to beat the Steelers for only the second time in 12 tries in Pittsburgh.
Football is often called the ultimate team game, yet, for all the late-game heroics (and there were plenty), a handful of individual plays proved to be pivotal.
No. 1: Berrios to Wilson for a TD
This one belongs to offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, who called the play, as much as anyone.
About three minutes into the second quarter, with the Jets leading by 3-0, Zach Wilson took the snap from center, flipped the ball to WR Garrett Wilson coming around from the right flank. G. Wilson then flipped it to Braxton Berrios coming from the left flank. At the end of the double-reverse, Berrios steadied himself and threw a lazy rainbow that seemed to take forever to get to the waiting Z. Wilson, standing alone in the end zone. The 2-yard pass was the first time in Jets history that a quarterback had caught a TD pass.
"First I hand it and I see everyone flowing, and I'm like, 'Oh, thank goodness,' " Z. Wilson said. "I got the best hands on the team!"
Berrios said: "You just hope everything goes well with the operation. We were prepared for it, ready for it and it happened."
No. 2: Q Power
With his big brother, linebacker Quincy Williams, out with an ankle injury, little brother Quinnen Williams played perhaps his best game of the season. He played like a man on fire against the Steelers with a final stat line of 6 tackles (3 solo), 2 QB hits and a second-quarter sack that was big at the time ... but proved to be even bigger in hindsight. Williams also took 61% of the snaps on defense, his second-most of the season. And on one play, he sped across the field in pursuit of a scrambling QB Mitch Trubisky.
After the Jets built their 10-0 lead, the Steelers drove down the field and faced a third-and-8 at the Jets' 23-yard line. Williams bulrushed through the heart of the offensive line and took down Trubisky for a 10-yard loss. Chris Boswell then converted a 51-yard field goal.
To be sure, a lot of other stuff happened over the course of the game, but one could make the case that forcing the field goal for 3 points, instead of giving up a TD, ultimately provided the 4-point margin of victory.
No. 3: An Opportunity Missed
The Jets had a chance to "lap," as head coach Robert Saleh likes to say, the Steelers at the end of the first half. The Jets won the coin toss before the start of the game and deferred, meaning they were to go on offense after the second-half kickoff.
Leading, 10-3, Wilson made a costly mistake that changed the tone of the game and shifted momentum to the home team. On a third-and-11 play, with the Jets already in field-goal range at the Steelers 29-yard line, Wilson forced a deep pass into double coverage, intended for receiver Jeff Smith. The pass was off target and was picked off by Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton.
After the INT, Pittsburgh mounted a late drive and Boswell kicked a stadium record 59-yard FG. Pittsburgh went on to score the next 17 points of the game, building a 20-10 lead.
The interception was Wilson's first since Week 13 of the 2021 season, a string of more than 170 passes.
No. 4: 4th-and-7
Wilson, who completed 10-of-12 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter, provided Jets Nation with a glimpse of his steely determination in his first start of the 2022 season.
Down by 10 points and desperate to get back into the game, Wilson led an 11-play, 81-yard drive that culminated with a 5-yard scoring pass to Corey Davis (5 catches, 74 yards). The pivotal play on the drive came when Wilson connected with Davis for 22 yards to the Steelers' 17 on a fourth-and-7 play.
No. 5: The Effin' TD
The Jets came up with four interceptions in the game, two grabbed by Lamarcus Joyner (including one in the first quarter to end a Pittsburgh drive and the clincher on the final play of the game). That number included three critical turnovers by Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett, who took over in the second half from Mitch Trubisky.
And it was Michael Carter II's interception of Pickett pass that was tipped by TE Pat Freiermuth that set Wilson and the Jets on their final, game-winning drive. Wilson completed passes to Corey Davis, G. Wilson and Michael Carter on the drive, but it was rookie running back Breece Hall (17 carries, 66 yards) who scored on a dive on second-and-goal from the 2-yard line. He stretched the ball out to try and score the touchdown. It was at first ruled to be a fumble, but after review, the Jets got the TD and the win.
After the game, players said that Z. Wilson displayed a cold-blooded determination to put his stamp on the game ... and offer a glimpse of what he's capable of in the future.
Hall recalled that Wilson said: "Let's go score an effin' touchdown."
OL Laken Tomlinson: "He came in and said, 'Hey, we're gonna' — excuse my language — 'We're gonna take this s**t over.' He came in and he commanded that huddle, and it was like a spark from him. He just knew that we were gonna win this game. I talked to him after the game, too, and I was like, 'Dude, that's some legendary stuff, man.' We appreciate the hell out of you."