PITTSBURGH — Mark Sanchez promised his Jets teammates he wasn't losing this one.
Not to a team the Jets had never beaten on the road. Not even after successive demoralizing losses.
Sanchez didn't lose it. But he waited as one of the NFL's best last-gasp quarterbacks nearly stole a victory.
Sanchez scrambled for the Jets' first offensive touchdown in 12 quarters and led a decisive field-goal drive Sunday as New York beat Pittsburgh 22-17.
"We wanted to get to 10 wins, that was our goal, and I'm really proud of the guys for rallying," said Sanchez, who played poorly in losses the previous two weeks.
The Jets, 0-7 at Pittsburgh coming in (including playoffs) held on after Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers from their 8-yard line to New York's 10 in the final 2:08, only to end it with two incompletions that hit Steelers in the hands.
"This win might surprise a lot of people, but it didn't surprise us," said coach Rex Ryan, who went without a sideline jacket on a 25-degree day. "We needed it huge. There's no question."
The Steelers still clinched a playoff spot thanks to a series of strength-of-schedule tiebreakers. Pittsburgh, with games against Carolina and Cleveland left, also owns the AFC North tiebreaker over Baltimore
"We've just got to win two more games, very winnable games, teams we match up well against," safety Ryan Clark said. "We still can win this division."
Sanchez threw for 170 yards against a No. 4-ranked defense missing injured safety Troy Polamalu (Achilles' tendon).
"It's been a tough couple of weeks, but when he stood up in that huddle and he said, 'I'm going to play better. I'm not going to continue to turn the ball over' … you had to believe the guy," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.
The Steelers had to go for a touchdown on the final drive because Mewelde Moore was tackled for a safety by Jason Taylor with 2:38 left.