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Jets vs Steelers: Taking a Look at the Past 10 Matchups

Rocco ConstantinoContributor IJanuary 8, 2017

Jets vs Steelers: Taking a Look at the Past 10 Matchups

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    The Jets and Steelers have developed a nice rivalry this decade, as each of the two teams have consistently been among the best in the AFC.  

    That doesn't mean the series has been competitive though.

    Overall, the Jets are just 4-17 against the Steelers and have won just one time in Pittsburgh since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.  

    Since 2003, the Jets and Steelers have split six games, and if not for a pair of Doug Brien missed field goals in the 2005 playoffs, the Jets could have had a leg up.

    This week's matchup figures to be another tough battle between two good teams that rely greatly on their defenses.  

    The Steelers are going to be in a sour mood after dropping an opening day game to the Broncos.  It's highly unlikely they would fall to 0-2 without a tremendous fight.

    This is the teams' first matchup since the AFC Championship game in 2011, in which the Steelers dropped the Jets 24-19.

    The Jets and Steelers have met ten times since 1990 and this slideshow takes a look back at each of those showdowns—some legendary battles and some outright stinkers.  

November 25, 1990: Steelers 24 Jets 7

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    When the Jets met the Steelers in Week 12 of the 1990 season, it was a pivotal game for the Steelers, but the Jets were going nowhere.

    This game came in Bruce Coslet's first year as Jets head coach after replacing Joe Walton.

    The Steelers were 5-5 at the time, fighting for a playoff spot with solid Houston Oilers and Cincinnati Bengals teams, while the Jets came in at 4-7.

    The Jets actually jumped on top first when Ken O'Brien hooked up with Rob Moore on a 53-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the Jets a 7-0 lead.

    However, that would be the last highlight of the game for the Jets.

    The Steelers scored 24 unanswered points, including 14 in the fourth quarter to take home the relatively-easy win.

    For the Jets, O'Brien finished just 9-for-17 for 117 yards.  The Jets' running game didn't do much either as Freeman McNeil, Brad Baxter and Johnny Hector combined to rush for just 70 yards.

    On the plus side, Erik McMillan and Tony Stargell were able to intercept Steelers quarterback Bubby Brister one time each.

September 13, 1992: Steelers 27 Jets 10

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    The last time the Jets faced the Steelers in Week 2 was the 1992 season, and for the Jets sake, let's hope the result is much better this time.

    The Steelers were coming off a big opening day win against the Oilers and were on their way to an 11-5 season and an AFC Central championship.  

    Browning Nagle and the Jets were not about to stand in their way this week.

    Jason Staurovsky opened the scoring for the Jets, converting a 32-yard field goal in one of the four games he played in his Jets career, but that would be it for the Jets offense on the day.

    Barry Foster ran 33 times for 190 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Steelers to an easy 27-10 victory.

    The Jets' highlight was a Michael Brim 77-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

    In the second start of his career, Nagle was a putrid 9-for-29 for 117 yards and one interception.

October 8, 2000: Steelers 20 Jets 3

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    After going eight years without facing each other, the 4-0 Jets took on the 1-3 Steelers in Week 6 of the 2000 season.

    The Jets were coming off a bye and, in one of the rare occasions in this rivalry, were favored over the Steelers in a game at the Meadowlands.

    The Jets responded by laying a total egg in a 20-3 loss.

    Vinny Testaverde was knocked out of the game early and Ray Lucas, the hero of the 1999 season, couldn't do anything to save the Jets this time.

    Lucas finished just 13-for-25 for 99 yards and two interceptions.

    The Steelers held a 10-3 halftime lead and extended it by scoring 10 more points in the fourth quarter.

    Even recent Hall of Fame inductee Curtis Martin could do nothing to save this game, as he rushed for just 59 yards on 15 carries. 

December 9, 2001: Steelers 18 Jets 7

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    The 2001 game between the Jets and Steelers featured two of the top teams in the AFC that year—the Steelers ended up 13-3 while the Jets finished 10-6.

    In their Week 12 matchup, the Steelers stood at 9-2 while the Jets were 7-4.

    The big storyline for this game was that Jerome Bettis, who was dominating the AFC in the prime of his career, had been injured in the previous game and missed this showdown.

    His replacement, Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, ran for just 50 yards on 21 carries, but Pittsburgh was still able to pull off the 18-7 win.

    The Jets' only touchdown came on an 18-yard pass from Curtis Martin to Wayne Chrebet—one of two touchdowns the Hall of Famer threw in his career.

    Kris Brown hit four field goals for the Steelers and a little-used wide receiver named Hines Ward recorded his first career 100-yard game.

December 14, 2003: Jets 6 Steelers 0

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    Despite the 6-0 final score, this game between the Jets and Steelers was an entertaining throwback to old-school football.

    Played in a blinding snowstorm, Doug Brien somehow kicked two field goals in the first half and that would be enough for the win.

    The Jets were buoyed by some questionable play calling from Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, who dialed up 38 pass plays for Tommy Maddox despite the deteriorating conditions and the fact that the Steelers had Jerome Bettis on the roster.

    Bettis carried the ball just 16 times this game despite the fact that most of the receivers couldn't see or catch that day.  By comparison, Curtis Martin ran the ball 30 times for 174 yards, both season-highs.

    The outcome of this game really didn't matter as neither team was going anywhere in 2003.  

    Both squads finished with identical 6-10 records in 2003.  

December 12, 2004: Steelers 17 Jets 6

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    The Steelers prevailed in a great matchup in a cold, late-afternoon game at Heinz Field.

    Pittsburgh came into the game at 11-1 in a year in which the AFC was utterly dominant.  The Chargers, Colts, Patriots and Steelers all finished with at least 12 wins.

    The Jets were 9-3 at the time of this game and put up a good fight before the Steelers sealed the deal with a late Jerome Bettis touchdown. Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis, two of the top running backs of the era, were each held to under 75 yards in the defensive struggle.  

    It was the first time in NFL history that two running backs who each had 13,000 career yards at the time faced off against each other in a game. 

    The game was the 11th-straight win for rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    The teams would meet about one month later in one of the most excruciating losses in Jets history.

January 15, 2005: Steelers 20 Jets 17 (Divisional Playoffs, OT)

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    The Doug Brien game.

    Despite the fact that the Steelers finished the regular season with an NFL-best 15-1 record, the Jets had two chances at the end of regulation to pull off the stunning upset and boost themselves to the AFC Championship game.

    Thanks to some conservative play calling and two missed field goals by Brien, the Jets never converted that chance.

    The Steelers opened up a 10-0 first quarter lead, but the Jets came storming back to tie the game at 10 on a punt return touchdown by Santana Moss.

    The Jets took a 17-10 lead when Reggie Tongue returned an interception 86 yards for a touchdown, and the Jets looked like they might be able to pull off the upset.  

    The Jets run defense, which had been great all game, failed them though as they allowed the Steelers to respond for the game-tying score.

    The Steelers engineered a 12-play, 66-yard touchdown drive in which eight of the plays were runs.

    However, the Jets got the ball back with 5:54 left to play and after consecutive pass plays to Justin McCareins and Curtis Martin gained 39 yards, the Jets were in business.

    Offensive coordinator Paul Hackett went conservative though and called two running plays into the line, leaving Brien for a 47-yard field goal attempt with 2:02 left in the game.  

    He missed it.

    Remarkably, one play later, the Jets got the ball back when David Barrett intercepted a pass intended for Plaxico Burress, setting the Jets up at the Steelers 37-yard line with 1:46 left to play.

    After two plays, the Jets had 1st-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 25-yard-line and seemed happy to settle with that field position.  After running the ball into the line twice, Pennington actually kneeled down on the final offensive play, leaving a 43-yard attempt for Brien.

    He missed again.

    Jeff Reed made an easy 33-yard field goal in overtime to send Pittsburgh to the AFC title game and Brien never kicked for the Jets again.

November 18, 2007: Jets 19 Steelers 16 (OT)

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    Over the previous six seasons, the Jets had just one losing season.  The season was 2007 when they finished an abysmal 4-12.  

    Somehow, one of those four wins came against the AFC North champion Steelers in Week 11.

    The Jets were just 1-8 coming into the game, while the Steelers were standing at 7-2.

    The Jets jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead, but the Steelers bounced back to make it 10-7 after a touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes, who was in his second year in Pittsburgh.

    The Holmes touchdown came at the 9:12 mark of the second quarter and would be the last touchdown of the day for either team.

    Jeff Reed and Mike Nugent traded three field goals each the rest of the way, with Nugent's final field goal coming in overtime after a long Leon Washington punt return.  

    The story of this game was the Jets' defense though, as they sacked Ben Roethlisberger seven times and intercepted him once.

December 19, 2010: Jets 22 Steelers 17

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    Coming into this game, things weren't looking too good for the Jets.  

    The previous two weeks they were embarrassed by the Patriots on national television and then lost 10-6 in a disgusting game against the Miami Dolphins.

    Aside from those two embarrassing defeats, this was the first game after the Sal Alosi incident in which the Jet's strength and conditioning coach injured the Dolphins' Nolan Carroll by tripping him on a punt coverage.

    However, the Jets showed tremendous resiliency on a cold Pittsburgh afternoon and pulled out the 22-17 win—the team's first ever victory in Pittsburgh.

    The Jets got started right away as Brad Smith ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown.  The teams then traded scores back and forth and finally found themselves tied at 17 in the fourth quarter.

    The Jets took a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter as a Nick Folk field goal capped an impressive drive put together by Mark Sanchez and the team's running game.

    The Jets' next drive fizzled out, but a Steve Weatherford punt pinned the Steelers at their own three-yard-line.  On their first play, Jason Taylor dropped running back Mewelde Moore for an important safety to give the Jets a 22-17 lead.

    The safety forced the Steelers to go for a touchdown on their final drive instead of a potential game-tying field goal.

    That turned out to be a pivotal point because Ben Roethlisberger put together one last drive in the final two minutes.

    A 16-yard pass to Antonio Brown put the ball on the Jets' 10-yard-line with nine seconds remaining and gave Roethlisberger two shots into the end zone.  Both balls fell incomplete and the Jets held on for the thrilling win to send both teams to 10-4 records on the year.

    It would not be the last time they met this season though.

January 23, 2011: Steelers 24 Jets 19 (AFC Championship)

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    The last time the Jets faced off against the Steelers it was for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.  

    The Jets were fresh off of sending Peyton Manning and Tom Brady home packing and were looking to pull off the near-impossible trifecta of defeating the AFC's top three teams in each of their home buildings.  

    Everybody seemed ready for the game, except the Jets' defense.  

    Plagued by shoddy-tackling, Rashard Mendenhall shredded the Jets' defense in helping to build what looked to be an insurmountable 24-0 halftime lead.

    However, the Jets flipped the switch in the second half and mounted a ferocious comeback.

    The Jets started the fourth quarter with a drive down to the Steelers' two-yard-line, but were stopped on three straight plays, including a 4th-and-1 in which LaDainian Tomlinson failed to convert.

    However, the Jets recorded a safety on the next play and got a new life.

    The Jets took the subsequent kickoff and marched right down the field for a touchdown to get within five points with 3:09 left to play.

    The Jets chose to kick deep, however, and after the Steelers converted one first down, the game came down to a 3rd-and-6 at the Jets' 40-yard-line.

    Roethlisberger converted the play with a 14-yard completion to Antonio Brown to put the final nail in the 24-19 win.   

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