Sunday's matchup between the Jets and Steelers is a tale of two teams going in different directions.

The Steelers came into the season with one of the league's most explosive offenses, and now with Le'Veon Bell back from a three-game suspension, they appear unstoppable. At least that was the case last Sunday against a very good Chiefs defense. Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdowns and Bell somehow looked better than ever; he had 18 carries for 144 yards and caught five passes for another 34 yards.

There's also Antonio Brown, arguably the league's best receiver (though something less than that when it comes to hip-thrustin' touchdown celebrations), not to mention Roethlisberger, a legit MVP candidate who is playing the best football of his career.

The Steelers are currently 3-1 after their convincing win over the Chiefs. How important is it to get to 4-1? Since 1990, 4-1 teams have a 76 percent of making the playoffs. That drops to just 50 percent for teams that start 3-2. Meanwhile, the Jets, who are sitting at 1-3, may already be looking ahead to 2017, even if they don't know it.

For as prolific as the Steelers' offense has been, the defense was exploited against Carson Wentz and the Eagles in Week 3. But defensive coordinator Keith Butler implemented a more aggressive game plan against Kansas City, and the results were immediate: four sacks, two turnovers, and a Chiefs offense that struggled to move the ball all game. And now Ryan Fitzpatrick, who leads the league with 10 interceptions -- including nine in his last eight quarters -- comes to town.

And it gets worse for a Jets offense that will be without No. 2 wide receiver Eric Decker: Fitzpatrick, who ranks dead last in Football Outsiders' QB metric, is also the NFL record holder for most fourth-quarter interceptions dating back to 2008. Has has 53, 10 clear of Eli Manning. There's more! Since joining the Jets in 2015, Fitzpatrick has 16 fourth-quarter picks, which again leads the league.

For what it's worth, Fitzpatrick has the full backing of Brandon Marshall, the Jets' top receiving threat.

"When you break down Fitz's interceptions, I can say four or five of those are the wide receiver's fault," he said during the week. "The in-cut in Kansas City, that was on us. Jalin (Marshall) ran a horrible route. Last game, the last one, I ran a post route. I was supposed to run a slant. He gave me a slant route. That's on me. That's bad communication. I was supposed to get that. ... That's why those [quarterbacks] get paid the big bucks. When it's good, they get all the money and all the glory. When it's bad, they get all the trash dumped on them."

Wherever the blame lies, the Jets need to find a quick fix. Because after the Steelers, they face the Cardinals and Ravens, which means a Week 8 matchup with the Browns might not even matter if the team doesn't take care of business in the meantime. For the Steelers, they face the Dolphins next and then host the Patriots before earning a bye.

One more thing: The Steelers are 6-1 against the Jets at Heinz Field, including two playoff wins.

How to Watch

  • What: New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • When: Sunday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. ET
  • Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • TV: CBS
  • Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile App
  • Sunday Ticket: DirecTV
  • Online: NFL Game Pass (available to watch online after midnight)
  • Odds: The Steelers are 7-point favorites, according to SportsLine

Injury Report



Prisco's Pick

The Jets didn't look good last week against the Seahawks, and now face an offensive power in the Steelers. They couldn't contain Russell Wilson, so why think they can slow Ben Roethlisberger? Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing bad too. Steelers big.

Pick: Steelers 31, Jets 20