The NFL Network research crew has finished crunching the numbers, so here’s a look at the most notable nuggets from the Steelers’ 24-19 win over the Jets at Heinz Field:
- The Steelers will make their eighth Super Bowl appearance, which ties the Cowboys for most all-time. It’s their third Super Bowl appearance in the last six seasons.
- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has put himself in some elite company. He is the second head coach in NFL history to reach two Super Bowls in his first four seasons, joining Joe Gibbs, who reached the Super Bowl in his second and third seasons in 1982-83.
- The same goes for Ben Roethlisberger. He improved to 10-2 in his career as starter in the playoffs, and his .833 winning percentage is the second-highest in NFL playoff history (minimum 10 starts). The only quarterback ahead of him is Bart Starr (.900).
- Rashard Mendenhall played hero for the Steelers. He rushed 27 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, the most yards allowed by the Jets all season (including playoffs). Mendenhall broke tackles throughout the first half, gaining 95 yards.
- LaMarr Woodley recorded one sack against the Jets and has 10 in six career playoff games. That’s the fewest games in NFL history to reach 10 career playoff sacks.
- It was a tale of two halves for the Jets offensively, and the first half wasn’t pretty. The Jets managed five first downs and 50 total yards — just 1 yard rushing. Three of their five series lasted just three plays, twice ending in punts and the other on a Mark Sanchez fumble that was returned 19 yards by William Gay for a touchdown.
- It’s an understatement that the Jets didn’t get the running game going until the second half, and their 70 yards total rushing was the lowest ever under Rex Ryan (including playoffs). It was just the fifth time in 38 games the Jets didn’t reach 100 yards rushing under Ryan.
- It would be tough to put this loss on the shoulders of Sanchez, who was 20-of-33 passing for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Aided by a running game during the second half, Sanchez went 13 of 18 for 170 yards and both of his touchdowns, leading the Jets on three drives of 58 yards or more.