The Jets and Steelers are a pair of 1-2 teams looking to get themselves back on track. For Pittsburgh, it’s a chance to get right at home and break a two-game losing streak. Quarterback Zach Wilson will be back under center for his season debut with New York, and plenty of eyes will be on how he performs.
Can the Jets give the fanbase a glimmer of hope, or will things keep spiraling out of control? We’ll find out on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium (1 pm, CBS). New York is entering as a 3.5-point road underdog (according to Sports Betting Dime). Here are the ESNY staff picks:
Josh Benjamin, staff writer (3-3 against the spread, 3-3 straight-up): Even with Zach Wilson’s return, it’s hard to imagine this Jets-Steelers matchup as anything but a ground war. Pittsburgh’s passing attack is barely functional with Mitch Trubisky under center, leaving Gang Green tasked with stopping Najee Harris. It’ll be an ugly game, but I’ll pick Robert Saleh to steal another receipt this week. Jets 17, Steelers 14
Danny Small, staff writer (3-3, 3-3): The Jets need to run the damn ball. Pittsburgh is never an easy place to be, but this needs to be a win for Robert Saleh and his coaching staff. Establishing a ground game will help ease Zach Wilson back into the swing of things. Jets 20, Steelers 16.
Ryan Honey, staff writer (4-2, 4-2): This is the game when everything comes crashing down for the Jets. We’ve seen the defense take steps backward ever since its dominant first half against the Ravens in Week 1. We’ve seen the injuries at offensive tackle, the offensive inconsistency, and the incredibly poor coaching. And now Zach Wilson has to trot out there for his first game back after suffering a meniscus tear and bone bruise in the preseason. Taking all the aforementioned issues into consideration, along with the fact that Wilson is returning from injury and has yet to prove much in the NFL, this could be a total let-down game for New York against Mitch Trubisky and Pittsburgh. Steelers 24, Jets 13.
Matt Musico, editor (4-2, 3-3): I think this is a spot where the Jets can bounce back. Based on how they’ve played at home, maybe hitting the road to face Pittsburgh is the best thing for them right now. It could also be a way to ease Wilson back into the offense. I’ll take a chance on Robert Saleh and his defense showing up and making some big plays when they need it. Jets 20, Steelers 14.
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