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The skies won't be nearly as friendly when the Jets travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers.
After scoring just one offensive touchdown in four preseason games, the New York Jets exploded for 48 points in their season-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills.
The 48 points were the most for a Week 1 game in franchise history. It was also the highest Week 1 total in the NFL since the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Bears 49-7 to start the 2003 season.
Jets fans can now take a deep breath and rest assured that the sky is not falling—at least not yet.
Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road provides a much stiffer challenge than hosting the Bills. The task will be even tougher as the Steelers try to rebound from their season-opening loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Of the seven teams on this list, the Jets have the best chance of emerging from Week 2 with a 2-0 record.
The Steelers have an injury-depleted offensive line that contributes to an inconsistent running game and shaky protection for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh’s wide receiver tandem of Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown will find it tough to consistently get open against Jets corners Darrel Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
But Pittsburgh’s defense is still elite, so New York will find it harder to convert the type of big plays that broke the Buffalo game wide open.
The Jets lack the elite pass rushers (like Denver’s Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller) that allowed the Broncos to continually pressure Roethlisberger on passing downs.
Cromartie is also prone to giving up big plays in the passing game, a habit that can be exploited by speedsters Wallace and Brown.
This game will feature two of the NFL’s best defenses. It would be surprising if the Jets and Steelers combine to match the 48 points that New York scored in Week 1.
It’s difficult to bet against the Steelers in the closest thing to a must-win game in Week 2 of the NFL season. The Jets will keep it close, but they’ll leave Pittsburgh realizing that the offense still has a lot of work to do.
Prediction: 17-13 Steelers