Breece Hall jets
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Robert Saleh and his New York Jets arrived in Pittsburgh with a bunch of things on their to-do list.

First and foremost, the goal was to get themselves to 2-2 after their Week 4 showdown with the Steelers. But being on the road — and more specifically, in Pennsylvania — hasn’t been a fun experience for the Jets as a franchise.

Entering this Sunday afternoon game, the Jets owned a 1-16 record all-time in the state of Pennsylvania. This includes a 1-10 record all-time on the road against the Steelers. The last time they came away victorious in this situation was during the 2010 regular season.

New York definitely got a psychological boost on offense with the return of Zach Wilson at quarterback. Would the Jets’ offense be a little more dynamic thanks to Wilson’s mobility (and Joe Flacco’s lack of mobility hanging out on the sideline)? Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin mentioned that specifically earlier in the week as a potential concern, especially since Pittsburgh wasn’t familiar with Wilson from previous encounters.

Early in the first half, having Wilson back under center was a huge boost for this Jets offense. He was able to elongate plays by evading tackles and made a couple of excellent throws to his wide receivers. The second-year signal-caller completed three passes of 20-plus yards before heading into the locker room for halftime.

But his first touchdown of the season was one he caught while running the Philly Special.

It didn’t come without some groans, though. Wilson finished the half by completing just 6-of-16 passes for 91 yards, and an interception in the waning moments before halftime. That — plus a roughing the passer penalty with no time left — enabled the Steelers to put three more points on the board to cut their deficit to 10-6.

Pittsburgh kept that momentum building in the third quarter, too. While rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett’s first NFL pass ended up getting intercepted by Jordan Whitehead, the Steelers returned the favor to Wilson:

This set up a QB sneak for Pickett, which gave the home squad a 13-10 lead. Pittsburgh scored again to expand its lead to 10 points, but that’s when the Jets started mounting another fourth-quarter comeback.

It started with this Corey Davis touchdown catch:

Following a Pittsburgh turnover, the Jets suddenly had some life with Wilson leading the offense. The young signal-caller led New York to the end zone on a 12-play, 70-yard drive that took three minutes and 18 seconds off the clock.

Here’s the Breece Hall touchdown that gave the Jets a late lead with virtually no time left:

This was as good as Wilson has looked during his short NFL career. These two successful scoring drives completely cleaned up his overall game stats, as well. He completed 18-of-36 passes for 252 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. It’s also notable that New York had a problem getting the ground game going outside of Hall. The rookie finished with 17 carries for 66 yards and that game-winning touchdown.

Coming into this game, the Jets knew they’d have an advantage on defense trying to stop a Steelers passing game led by Mitch Trubisky. That effort was successful in the first half, leading to Tomlin subbing him out for Pickett.

New York’s ability to create turnovers was huge in keeping the Pittsburgh offense in check. Between Trubisky and Pickett, the Jets collected four total interceptions.

Was this a pretty win? Not quite. But a win is a win. And while there were some not-so-great moments from Wilson, were there plenty of encouraging sequences people can point to? Absolutely. Between a fast start and coming from behind to win at the end, Wilson did a good job of creating some good feelings for a Jets squad that sorely needed them.

The Jets escape with their first road win against Pittsburgh in 12 years and are heading home as a .500 club. Judging from how things looked at the start of the fourth quarter, this is yet another unexpected turn of events in a dramatic road victory.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.