The Jets face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:25 p.m. Here's how they can break their bad luck streak in the state of Pennsylvania:
Overcome the loss of Darrelle Revis. The cornerback is the Jets’ best and most indispensible player. No matter how high they are on 2010 first-round pick Kyle Wilson, the dropoff between Revis, the league’s best corner by most accounts, and Wilson, a disappointment through two plus seasons, is massive. The Steelers may have a reputation as a physical, rush-oriented team, but they throw the ball just like every other elite NFL team. With Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, Ben Roehtlisberger has plenty of options to go after Wilson, Antonio Cromartie and whatever combination of Isaiah Trufant and Ellis Lankster ends up on the field. The Jets will need to get big performances from other parts of their defense. Roethlisberger is easy to sack and will likely have to be brought down multiple times for the Jets to win this game.
Build off the offense’s performance in Week 1. A 48-point explosion last week did wonders for a team that stumbled through a preseason with only one touchdown. Four of those scores came from the offense—one each came from special teams and defense—and Mark Sanchez turned in perhaps his best game as a Jet. But that prolific output came against the Bills, a team that limped to the finish line last season after a hot start. Playing the Steelers in Pittsburgh is another story altogether. The good news for the Jets: The Steelers will likely be without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, two All-Pro caliber defenders. Despite all the offseason talk about Tim Tebow, the renaissance quarterback ,did next to nothing. Maybe he’s not so important after all.
Play a full game on defense. No matter how well the Jets’ offense performs on Sunday, it likely won’t provide the cushion it did in the game against Buffalo. The Jets then allowed 21 second-half points. Were they playing to the score? Probably. Buffalo recorded a ton of yards on the ground. The last time these two teams met, in the 2010 AFC Championship Game, Pittsburgh scored the first 24 points en route to a 24-19 win. Against Buffalo, the Jets did not tackle particularly well in the second half. That will have to change for the Jets to improve to 2-0.