After holding the Steelers to 73 yards rushing on 26 carries (2.8 average), the Jets defense has now allowed 454 rushing yards on 153 carries this season, an average of 2.9 yards a carry. Starting RB Le’Veon Bell rushed 16 times for 34 yards, averaging 2.1 yards per attempt. This season, no starting runner has averaged more than 3.1 yards per carry against the Jets.
The Jets registered four sacks against the Steelers, bringing down QB Ben Roethlisberger three times and WR Antonio Brown once. LB Garrett McIntyre (2.0 for the season) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (5.0 for the season registered full sacks of Roethlisberger, while DL Leger Douzable (0.5 for the season) and LB Calvin Pace (3.0 for the season) split the third. LB David Harris (2.0 for the season) registered a sack on Brown in the red zone. For the season, the Jets now have 20 sacks. The team entered the game, ranked fifth in the league.
With his six-yard sack of Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter, Wilkerson matched his season-high set last season, with his fifth sack of the season. Already leading the team, Wilkerson has now registered 9.0 sacks in his last 13 contests.
In his 100th career game, K Nick Folk remained perfect on the season, connecting on both of his field goal attempts. Folk registered a 25-yarder in the first quarter to put the Jets on the board and then connected on a 39-yard attempt with 0:02 remaining in the first half. For the season, Folk has converted all 13 field goal opportunities.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie:
On getting ready for New England next week:
“You have to. This game is over with. Once it (the clock) hits zero, this game’s over and you have to start preparing for the next one. That’s always been my mentality. We have to go back to through the game film tomorrow and then look at it. For me, this game is over. We make the corrections. My goal is to move on to the next opponent.”
On if the defense did enough to win:
“No, I don’t think we did enough to win. Our job is to keep them out of the end zone and we didn’t. They scored on a third and one. It’s something that we can’t have, especially for me, giving up a first down. That’s something that I take a lot of pride in, especially giving up the first down. “
Quarterback Geno Smith:
On how he can become consistent:
“Well, it starts with practice. It starts with being consistent in practice and that’s what we try to preach here, is to always come out with the right mindset, being enthused for practice and it carries over into games. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline. It takes a tremendous amount of focus and effort. That’s all there is to it. You’ve just got to be consistent. It’s always those two or three plays in every single game that seems like we’ve got to avoid. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Today we didn’t and I think we need to improve on that.”
Why he didn’t have success throwing downfield today:
“I think they did a great job just keeping guys in front of them. Like I said, their defense is smart, led by Troy (Polamalu) and Ryan Clark. Those two guys are, like I said, two of the best guys back there. They read and recognize plays better than most safeties do so they were able to keep guys in front of them and we had to dink and dunk it slowly matriculate and move the ball down the field, which we did for the most part, and then sometimes once we got down there we had the two turnovers which were bad on my part. Other than that, it was the game we expected, a hard-fought, grind-it-out game.”
On what he saw from Dick LeBeau’s defense:
“Well, you can tell those guys had time to prepare. They covered our verticals pretty well, carried the seams. I think that’s a testament to, like I said, having guys like Troy and Ryan Clark who’ve played in this league, who have seen those plays time and time again. They kept things in front of them. They didn’t allow us to hit the big play, something we’ve been accustomed to doing so far this year. It really made us, like I said, stay focused and stay disciplined and just drive the ball down the field. I think we should have done a better job of converting on third downs, staying ahead of the chains. Overall we didn’t get it done. There (are) a lot of things that can be said about why (we didn’t), but we’ve just got to get the job done.”
If he is getting tired of having to say he has to get better after losses:
“I think I’m just frustrated to lose the game. Regardless of what happened in the game, a win’s a win and a loss is a loss. That’s what I’m most frustrated about. I do understand that there are growing pains and there are things to learn with this offense and with this team, but we don’t go out with that mindset. We want to win every single game, every single series, every single down. That’s our mindset and that’s what we’re going to stick to.”
Head Coach Rex Ryan:
On not being able to find a rhythm on offense:
“Sometimes, you have to credit the defense. Their defense is outstanding. It’s consistent and (has) played that way for 15 years. We knew that we’d have to be patient. It wasn’t going to come easy, but you have to give them credit. Obviously, they did a better job of executing than we did.”
On the first interception by Geno Smith:
“You’d like to see us protect the football and be more conscious about it, but he’s going to try and make a throw that he thinks is there. In that case, with hindsight being 20/20, I’d like to have seen him throw the ball away there and not force it.”
Why the Jets can’t put two weeks of good play together:
“It seems like it’s different themes, but this season, it starts with the turnovers. If you’re turning the ball over and not getting the takeaways on defense, that’s a recipe for not being consistent or successful.”
On not being able to build upon last week’s win:
“Every week is different. You have to string some together, and we certainly understand that. Again, every week is a new challenge. We were on a short week and all that, but our preparation was all about Pittsburgh. It had nothing to do with Atlanta or anything else. You just have to go. We knew that team (Pittsburgh) was coming off of two weeks of preparation. We knew we’d get their very best. They’re a very prideful team and we got everything we told our team we would get, and that was their very best.”