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Jets Q&A: How did Steelers WR Diontae Johnson get so open for TD?

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson catches a touchdown

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson catches a touchdown pass during the first half against the Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

What happened on the Steelers’ only touchdown, Mason Rudolph’s 29-yard pass to Diontae Johnson with four seconds left in the first half?

Johnson simply ran by Bless Austin and was wide-open in the end zone, which was an egregious mistake by the defensive back because the Steelers were out of timeouts and could attempt only a pass to the sideline or the end zone.

Coach Adam Gase, who benched Austin after that play, said: “I’ll have to look at the film. It’s hard for me to say anything right now.”

Of Austin’s benching, Gase said: “That happens a lot during a game. Guys get moved in and out. Guys make mistakes. I’ll know more when we go over it tomorrow.”

How was Jamal Adams after missing two games with a sprained ankle?

Adams had six tackles and two assists and made his presence felt.

“Having Jamal back out there, you felt the energy,” Gase said. “We felt it all week. You heard him talking. You knew he was good to go, and that continued today. He was excited to be out there. I know that.”

Said Adams: “I was battling. At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about these boys in here. I have so much love for them and just to go out there and compete with my brothers, that’s what it was about for me. Whatever it took for me. It was real and gritty. I was hurting, but I was out there just giving it my all, playing ball as best I could.”   

Did Jets offensive assistant coach Hines Ward get his Gatorade bath?

Yes. The former Steelers wide receiver had implored the team to win one for him and also asked for a postgame Gatorade bath if the Jets won. He got both.

“I knew that was something special to him,” wide receiver Jamison Crowder said. “He had mentioned that throughout the week in our receiver meetings that he wanted to beat those guys. He said he wanted a Gatorade bath, so I’m happy for him. I’m happy we got the win and I know that win is very special for Hines.”   

Now that the home season is over, what’s Gase’s takeaway from the Jets’ 5-3 record at MetLife Stadium?

“I think it was important that we were looking to have a winning record at home,” he said. “That’s something that we wanted to establish, that we were a tough team to beat at home. Being able to start like this in Year 1 and say we’re 5-3 at home is a positive thing for our program.”   

What’s next?

The Jets visit Buffalo next Sunday. The Bills are locked into the fifth seed in the playoffs and will be playing for nothing.

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