- New York Jets (+3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (41.5 O/U)
- Date/Time: October 2nd, 2022, 1:00pm EST
- Announcers: CBS – Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta, AJ Ross
- Location/Weather: Acrisure Stadium, PIttsburgh, PA (63℉/10-15mph wind/24% chance of rain)
- Referee: Brad Rodgers
Season Stat Leaders
Passing: Mitch Trubisky (62/103, 569 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 77.7 Rating)
Rushing: Najee Harris (40 att, 128 yards, 1 TD, 48 rec yards, 1 rec TD)
Receiving: Diontae Johnson (21 rec, 196 yards, 0 TD)
Tackles: Myles Jack (35 total tackles, 19 solo)
Sacks: Alex Highsmith (4.5 sacks)
Interceptions: Minkah Fitzpatrick (2 INTs, 1 TD)
- PIT leads all-time series 20-6-0
- Last Matchup: 2019, NYJ win 16-10
- Since 2010 AFC Championship Game: PIT leads series 3-2
Matchups to Watch
- LBs C.J. Mosley/Kwon Alexander vs RB Najee Harris
Steelers RB Najee Harris is simply different. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler put out an article about the RB position, and how many teams value a two-RB approach as opposed to a lead back. Najee took that personally, saying “you know when people say after a game they feel like they’ve been hit by a truck? I don’t feel that way and I get 30 carries. I feel like a train in a way that I can withstand that”. The Jets will need to rattle the cage of #22 if they want to slow him down. A big onus will be put on Alexander’s run defense, an area where he has struggled in his career. Stop Harris, putting the ball in Mitch Trubisky’s hands in big moments.
- CB Ahmad Gardner/D.J. Reed vs WR Diontae Johnson/George Pickens
Through the first three weeks of the season, the Jets cornerbacks seem to be the strength of this defense. Reed and Gardner have allowed just 51 and 92 yards receiving to opposing wideouts, respectively. Reed also holds the 2nd-best Passer Rating Against at 2.9, trailing only Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (1.0). When these two are clicking, they will make it nearly impossible for offenses to pass on this secondary. Now facing a receiver duo that has 334 of Trubisky’s 569 yards (58.6%), New York’s young and hungry corners need to have another outstanding performance to limit this Steelers offense.
Keys to Victory
- Force the Steelers offense into 3rd and long situations. Currently, the Steelers are 24th in the league in 3rd down conversions, at 33.3%. New York has struggled to get off the field on third downs, allowing a conversion at a 51.3% clip, 31st in the NFL. If there was ever a game to get “back on track” with their late down success rate, this is the week to do it. Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky is only averaging 5.5 Yards Per Attempt (YPA), meaning his shots down the field seem few and far between. If the defense can get them into 3rd and 7+ situations, the Jets can start to shift the narrative surrounding Jeff Ulbrich’s side of the ball.
- Finally get the run game going! So far this season, Pittsburgh has been one of the league’s worst defenses against the run, 28th in yards allowed (428) and 31st in attempts against (103). Conversely, they are adept at taking the ball away from opposing offenses, with 6 total takeaways in 2022, five coming against Joe Burrow in Week 1. To combat this defense, the Jets will need to rely on the run game to set up Zach Wilson’s opportunities to take shots down the field. If Wilson is dropping back 40+ times this week, the mistakes will certainly be there for the taking. Look for a big game from both Michael Carter and rookie Breece Hall if the Jets want to have a chance in this one.
- Elijah Moore wil score his first touchdown of the 2022 season
- Michael Carter and Breece Hall will rush for over 115 yards combined
- The Jets defense holds the Steelers to under 45.0% third down conversions
After last week’s disappointing loss to the Bengals, the Jets get a boost in offensive excitement with QB Zach Wilson back under center. Now, it’s on the coaching staff to put him, and the rest of the team, in a position to make this a close game. No more game plans that get abandoned after 3 series, no back-breaking mistakes that eliminate scoring chances, and no more inexcusable penalties without consequences! If the Jets want to keep this one close until the very end, and not just for three quarters, they need to significantly reduce these above problems. Until then, I can’t confidently predict New York to win. A close game, but not a Jets victory.
- Score: L, 20-17