Final score prediction for Jets vs. Steelers

Sunday is a chance for the Jets to “get right” after being utterly dominated last week against the Bengals. A chance to get through the first quarter of the season at 2-2 with their starting quarterback and starting left tackle both out for a majority of the time. Can they get back to .500 in Pittsburgh?

The key for the Jets is trying to get the ground game going. While the Jets do come in ranked 26th in rushing offense, they face a Steelers team ranked 28th in rushing defense and a team that was dead last in the category in 2021. If there is a week to feature Breece Hall and Michael Carter, this is the week. It would also be a good way to help ease Zach Wilson back into game action and not have to throw so much onto his plate so soon in his first live game action in about six weeks.

On the flip side, will defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich finally let Quinnen Williams turn loose? The moments from this past week are well-documented, but this would be a week to really feature Williams if possible. The Jets need to rattle quarterback Mitch Trubisky and if they can do that, the Steelers are really going to struggle to move the football. If New York can get Pittsburgh into 3rd and long or 3rd and medium situations, the Steelers have to rely on Trubisky’s arm and that’s not always a good thing.

Of course, the Jets also need to do a much better job of getting off the field on third downs as well. The Jets rank 31st in opponent third-down conversions per game (6.7). But you know who ranks 32nd? Yep, the Steelers (7.7). It sounds cliche, but third downs are going to be the key in this one.

We’ll give the slight edge to the Jets in what could be an ugly defensive struggle in Pittsburgh. The field likely will be a little messy as well. It rained in Pittsburgh Saturday and Pitt and Georgia Tech just played there less than 24 hours ago, so the field conditions will be interesting to monitor.

Prediction: Jets 23, Steelers 20

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire