Skip to main content

Jets at Steelers 3 Takeaways | Alijah Vera-Tucker, Nate Herbig Provide 'Stabilizing Combination' on OL

Lamarcus Joyer, Jordan Whitehead Combine for 3 Interceptions; Green & White Come from Behind in Second Road Win


The Jets picked up their second consecutive road win with a 24-20 victory over the Steelers on Sunday.. Here are three takeaways from the win.

Shuffled*OL* Holds Fast
The Jets threw a curveball along their offensive line. 

Alijah Vera-Tucker, who started all six games for USC at left tackle in 2020, protected Zach Wilson's blindside while Nate Herbig started at right guard. Vera-Tucker has now started at three positions for the Green & White – LG, RG and LT.

"They came to me on Tuesday and said they needed me at tackle and it was my decision," AVT said. "I told them I was going to do it and luckily with the help of my teammates from the defensive and offensive side, they all helped me to adjust to it really quickly. Overall, I felt good out there and just glad to get the W."

HC Robert Saleh added: "Just the combination of him and Herbig there at guard, we felt like that would be a really good stabilizing combination.

The injury bug continued to bite the OL. Rookie RT Max Mitchell was carted off the field in the second quarter -- Conor McDermott played the remainder of the game. Saleh said that Mitchell, who had taken the most snaps among any rookie tackles entering Sunday, will be evaluated Monday.

Safety Tandem Shows Out
Lamarcus Joyner and Jordan Whitehead had their best games as Jets on Sunday.

Whitehead, who had not played at Pittsburgh since he went to college there, had his first interception of the season in front of about 20 of his friends and family members -- Joyner tipped the pass, rookie QB Kenny Pickett's first NFL throw. Joyner, who had two interceptions, picked off Pickett's Hail Mary attempt as time expired. He also picked off Mitch Trubisky in the first half, which led to the Jets' first points. The Jets had four picks, one off Trubisky and three off Pickett, who led Pittsburgh to 14 unanswered points.

"We knew he would run the ball a little bit," Whitehead said of the rookie signal-caller. "We know he got an arm. But it changed up a little bit for us. We were reading out keys and playing fast and he kind of slowed us down a little bit. And then once we got going, we figured it out and started playing fast."

Young Team, Big Heart
Through four weeks, the Jets have won both road games in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion. The Jets climbed out to a 10-point lead Sunday, fell 10 points behind and then scored 14 unanswered points in the final 7:35 to reach .500. with a 2-2 record against the four AFC North teams.

"That's what I love about this group of guys, there's no flinch," Saleh said. … "It was tremendous resilience from the group. We were holding the lead, we had a bad sequence there at the end of the first half and they had some momentum bringing in the young kid. But to weather the storm and show the resilience to come back again on the road, awesome."

Rookie RB Breece Hall, who led the team with 17 carries for 66 yards, scored the first rushing touchdown of his NFL career, which gave the Jets the lead with 16 seconds remaining. While the Jets have clawed their way back in both of the wins, Hall believes the next step is putting a team away when they have the chance. He referred to the point swing at the end of the first half, when the offense had a chance to build a  13-3 lead. Instead, Wilson threw an interception and Steelers K Chris Boswell connected on a 59-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

The Jets were set to receive the second-half kickoff.

"I feel like if we're able to do that right then, and then come out and put up at least a touchdown or a field goal, we're in a great spot," Hall said.

See the best images from the Week 4 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Related Content