Jets Steelers Spread and Predictions NFL Week 15 Picks

The Steelers can put more of a grip on that No. 2 seed in the AFC with a win … which would also tighten the noose the Jets seem to be hanging from. Mark Sanchez is playing poorly and Dick LeBeau knows how to exploit a shaken QB. Santonio Holmes, fresh off dropping a TD pass last week, is going to be targeted by the Heinz Field crowd. The (9-4) New York Jets desperately need a win this Sunday when they take on the (10-3) Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST. Sunday’s scrap at Heinz Field will mark the 19th meeting between the two teams. Pittsburgh has historically dominated the Jets, posting an all-time record of 15-3 against New York. In fact, the Jets have never registered a victory in Pittsburgh, posting an 0-6 lifetime record in the Steel City. As far as recent history goes, the Steelers have also won seven of the last ten meetings.

After 14 weeks of heroic comeback wins, anemic offensive exhibitions, and one of the worst drubbings in franchise history, the 9-4 Jets are the ultimate enigmatic Rubik’s Cube of the National Football League. Multi-faceted, unable to crack, and one big box of frustration for their fans and football pundits alike. Losers of two straight to divisional opponents in deplorable fashion, the Jets find themselves in desperate need of a win Sunday to restore confidence to both their deflated offensive unit and their post-season dreams. A season that began with much optimism and fanfare has begun to fade, faster than one can say “Black and Yellow”. The Steelers run defense is phenomenal, and the way to beat them is to attack their secondary. It’s safe to say Holmes will be motivated to stick it to his former team, and he will need to come up big if the Jets expect to win. He leads the Jets with 68.9 receiving yards per game and can expect plenty of targets on Sunday. It’ll definitely be easier for the Jets to “do their thing” with Steeler’s star safety Troy Polamalu likely to be sidelined with an Achilles heel injury. Polamalu aggravated the injury last week against Cincinnati and is likely to sit out until the playoffs. Without Polamalu manning center field, the Steeler secondary becomes a lot more average than it already is (232.9 passing yards allowed per game). For the Jets, S Eric Smith (concussion), OT Damien Woody (knee), and DE Trevor Pryce have all been ruled out for Sunday after missing practice this week. S James Ihedigbo, who was limited in practice all week (ankle and knee) is listed as questionable. C Nick Mangold (shoulder), DT Sione Pouha (finger), CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), and WR Brad Smith (hand) are all probable.

The Steelers are off Sunday’s 23-7 victory against Cincinnati as nine-point home favorites. The Steelers couldn’t get into the end zone on offense despite dominating the time of possession. A 9 1/2-minute drive in the second half didn’t produce any points, but it didn’t matter as the Steelers closed in on a playoff spot by handing the Bengals their 10th straight loss. Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley returned interceptions for Pittsburgh’s only touchdowns. Polamalu injured his ankle during his interception but stayed in the game. Offensively, Pittsburgh has had similar struggles to that of the Jets. The Steelers have scored all of two touchdowns in their past 31 drives, while settling for 9 field goals. Regardless of their recent struggles, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remains a sizable threat out of the pocket with his arm and has demonstrated an affinity for making plays with his feet. The Steelers passing game will get a boost with the return of TE Heath Miller. Miller (concussion) has been hampered by injury and only caught 33 passes this year, one season after setting a franchise-record for TE receptions with 76 in 2009. Mike Wallace averages 20.6 yards per catch and is the sole game-changer on Pittsburgh’s offensive unit. He does it with his lightning-quick speed. With Jets’ superstar CB Darrelle Revis suddenly having hamstring issues, this will be the match-up to watch on Sunday afternoon. Mike Wallace has lightning quick-speed and is the main game-changer on Pittsburgh’s offensive unit. QB Ben Roethlisberger may be great at extending the play, and WR Hines Ward is a solid possession receiver; but Wallace is their main vertical threat who can burn you for a touchdown in a matter of seconds. The Jets have been stout against the run all season and I think they can keep RB Rashard Mendenhall at bay. A lot of how the Jets fare on defense will hinge on defending Wallace and keeping Pittsburgh out of the end zone. The Steelers’ quarterback is a tough guy who can hang in the pocket with the best of them, but he does tend to take some big shots while doing so. The Jets will need to bring pressure from all angles with the hopes of making him a bit skittish. Along with Polamalu, listed as doubtful for Pittsburgh is DT Steve McClendon (stinger). Steelers DE Aaron Smith (triceps) has been ruled out.

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Jets vs Steelers Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

New York Jets +4.5
@ Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
35.5
Under (-110)

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Jets vs Steelers Prediction for Betting Week 15:

Game Total Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Jets have scored zero touchdowns in their last two games, and now must face mastermind DC Dick LeBeau and one of the top three defenses in the NFL. A tall task to put it lightly, but I believe the Jets offense will rise to the occasion. This Jets squad has all the fire power and talent to put points on the board and after several consecutive dismal offensive outings I believe they are ready to breakout. The Jets may very well be the best road warriors in the league from an offensive perspective. They average the most rushing yards away from home then any other team in the league. The total has gone OVER in 5 of the NY Jets last 5 games on the road. Also, for all the skeptics and media outcry over the Jets offensive flatness, they have been on the winning end of many OVERS this season. The total has gone OVER in 9 of the NY Jets last 12 games. The Steelers always play well at home and they will want to take one more step to sealing up a first-round bye with a win this Sunday. WR Mike Wallace will find his spots in a banged up Jets secondary and I believe the Steelers will be able to muster up some points from a rushing standpoint. We will go against the betting public in this one and side with the OVER.

Top Play Prediction = OVER 35.5 Total Points

Spread Prediction – In the end, Sunday’s outcome will once again come down to the Jets being able to get out of their own way, offensively. If Sanchez and the offense can establish any semblance of a rhythm and put some points on the board, the Jet defense should be up to the task of shutting down Roethlisberger. The Jets have all the tools they need to win this game, especially the tool of knowing how to win on the road. The Jets have been beasts on the road this season, they are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games on the road and are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games overall. With Polamalu out, Brian Schottenheimer must go to the air early and often and test the Pittsburgh secondary. Looking to feature guest-of-honor Santonio Holmes wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Establishing the passing game early will open things up for Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson to see some daylight in the running game — the bread and butter of the Jets’ gameplan. We will consider the Jets keeping this one close, if not winning, to propel their postseason aspirations.

Prediction = Jets +4.5

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