|Date of game: 11/9/2014
Recap: NY Jets vs. Pittsburgh
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Vick turned back the clock and the New York Jets snapped their eight-game losing streak.
But was it enough to call off the planes?
Vick threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and flashed a vintage running game while leading the beleaguered Jets to a 20-13 victory over Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
The upset over one of the NFL's hottest teams came amid calls for the Jets leadership to be replaced and ended the franchise's worst losing streak in 18 years.
"Finally," Jets coach Rex Ryan sighed. "Golly, that felt great."
It was as unlikely an outcome as there has been this season, especially considering how good Roethlisberger was during a three-game winning streak.
Big Ben set an NFL record by throwing 12 touchdown passes in the last two games, six each in wins over Indianapolis and Baltimore. He hadn't thrown an interception in over three games, but was picked off twice by Jets safety Jaiquawn Jarrett.
Even Antonio Brown, the sure-handed receiver who leads the NFL in catches and receiving yards, had a bad game. He had two fumbles in the first half. Jarrett recovered one of them.
"The reality is we shot ourselves in the foot today," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. "You're not going to win any football games minus-four in the turnover game."
Vick rushed for 39 yards and threw for 132 in his second straight start. His touchdown passes to T.J. Graham and Jace Amaro in the opening quarter included a 67-yard bomb to Graham.
Roethlisberger passed for 343 yards, bringing his total to 1,470 in the last four games. He had an 80-yard touchdown throw to Martavis Bryant with 76 seconds left.
The Jets (2-8) will head into their bye week coming off a win instead of what could have been a franchise-worst losing streak. The lead up to Sunday's game against Pittsburgh (6-4) sure wasn't pretty.
A plane circling Jets practice Wednesday pulled a banner calling for general manager John Idzik to be fired. Ryan responded by having a toy helicopter tow a "Go Jets" banner during an indoor practice.
On Sunday, a second plane: This one flew over MetLife Stadium towing a banner that read "Jets Rebuilding Since 1969," according to pictures posted online.
"I'm proud to be the coach of the Jets," Ryan said, a wink to those calling for his job, "and man, oh, man I'm glad we didn't lose that game. Nine in a row would have been tough."
"When you win, everything's better," Ryan said. "Food's better. I always tell the guys, your girlfriend's prettier, your wife's better looking, whatever, and the beer's colder. So that's a great feeling."
The Jets, after averaging 324 yards of offense in their first nine games, got more than half of that in the first quarter, outgaining the Steelers 164-5 on the way to a 17-0 lead.
On three consecutive plays in the quarter, the Jets scored twice and forced a turnover.
It started with their first possession, a 72-yard drive lasting nearly eight minutes that included six first downs and ended in Nick Folk's 23-yard field goal.
Their next possession began with a play fake and Vick's deep pass to Graham behind two defenders for a 67-yard touchdown.
Brown then fumbled, and Vick set up his 5-yard touchdown pass to Amaro in the back of the end zone with an 18-yard run featuring a knee-buckling cut that sent Steelers cornerback Brice McCain to the ground without contact.
The play went viral -- a look at what could have been if Twitter existed when Vick was in his prime.
"We've got six tough games (left) and we have to take them one at a time," said Vick. "We just have to keep fighting and finding ways to get better. It's too late to dwell on (the losing streak)."
Jarrett, who recovered Brown's first fumble, intercepted Roethlisberger in the second quarter after Marcus Williams deflected a pass near the goal line.
The Jets punted, but got the ball back when Brown let it go through his hands for another fumble. After Folk missed a 45-yarder, Shaun Suisham kicked a 53- yard field goal for Pittsburgh at the other end as time expired in the half.
Pittsburgh's first drive of the second half ended on Jarrett's second pick, this one at the New York 21-yard line.
Later, Folk kicked a 30-yard field goal for a 20-3 lead with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter.
Suisham missed a 23-yard attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter, but made a 27-yarder on the next possession.Game Notes
Vick, the NFL's all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks, surpassed 6,000
yards for his career ... Brown went over 1,000 yards receiving for the third
time. He ended with eight receptions for 74 yards and Bryant had four for 143
... Chris Ivory led New York with 14 carries and 51 yards rushing ... The Jets
snapped a three-game losing streak against Pittsburgh dating to the AFC
Championship Game on Jan. 23, 2011 ... The Steelers are on the road for a
Monday night game against Tennessee on Nov. 17 ... Pittsburgh was without
safety Troy Polamalu (knee) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle).