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Jets end losing streak with upset of Steelers

New York broke an eight-game losing streak with a big win over Pittsburgh.
Leger Douzable

Leger Douzable celebrates one of four sacks on the day for the Jets.

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It was a banner day for the Jets, who ended an eight-game losing streak with a 20-13 win over the Steelers.

The first quarter produced jaw-dropping stuff from a team whose season seems destined towards a fourth straight year without the playoffs. The Jets had their longest pass play of the season, a fumble on the Steelers second drive and a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Vick to give the Jets a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The win comes after a week of negativity surrounding the team, including a plane flying over practice on Wednesday, promoting the firing of embattled general manager John Idzik. And on Sunday before the game, another plane flew overhead with a banner that read “Jets Rebuilding Since 1969” in an obvious hat tip to the franchise's only Super Bowl win. Instead of caving into the pressure, the team responded with a big win.

We look at three things that went right in the win.

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1. Containing Big Ben

It was assumed Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would have a huge game against the Jets. After all, he came into MetLife Stadium off a three-game stretch where he threw 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions, including 12 touchdowns in the last two games. But the Jets limited the Steelers to just a field goal in the first half and consistently put pressure on the pocket. Roethlisberger finished with a rather poor 28-of-41 for 258 yards with two interceptions before an 80-yard garbage time touchdown. Roethlisberger came into this game with just three interceptions on the season.

2. Why Vick is the starter

Michael Vick came into his game with one start under his belt. In that game, he completed 21-of-28 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown and, most importantly, no turnovers. He led the Jets for a field goal on the game's opening drive and then used the play-action to find T.J. Graham on a 67-yard touchdown pass the second drive. The linkup was the Jets' longest pass play since Week 3 last season. He had two touchdowns in the first half as the Jets built a 17-3 lead and finished 10-of-17 for 132 yards with two touchdowns. It is clear Vick is the best option for the Jets at quarterback.

3. Turnovers win the game

The Jets didn't have a single turnover in the game for a second straight week — a huge accomplishment for a team that was hemorrhaging the ball under Geno Smith. But equally as impressive, the Jets forced three turnovers — two interceptions and one forced fumble on special teams — for their highest tally of the season. It was the complete performance from the defense everyone had expected from the unit this year, but had failed to see.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.

 
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