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Sunday, One Team Will Be Wrong About Their ‘Get-Right’ Game

1-2 versus 1-2.

Someone’s gonna be 1-3.

Save your pedantic point about a tie.

Assuming Sunday’s game doesn’t end in a draw, one team, the Pittsburgh Steelers or New York Jets, are going to feel like throwing in the towel on the season. Both teams are looking at their Week 4 matchup through the same lens. A more winnable game, a chance to get back to .500 and feel like the season has a chance to turn around. The classic “get-right” game to get back on track.

From a Steelers’ perspective, this is the “easiest,” – I use that term loosely because nothing in the league should be taken for granted – game on the schedule until the bye. After New York, the Steelers head to Buffalo, host Tampa Bay, and then travel to Miami and Philadelphia. Barring something unforeseen, they won’t be favorites in any of those games. Tampa Bay will be the closest but you know it’s a tough journey when facing Tom Brady seems more forgiving. Realistically, the Steelers will go 1-3 over that four game stretch meaning a loss to the Jets would put them at 2-6 on the year.

Season over.

A victory over New York and the same 1-3 ensuing stretch puts Pittsburgh at 3-5 at the bye. Far from ideal, but on the other side they face the Saints and Bengals at home followed by playing at Indianapolis, Atlanta, than their first game against Baltimore. Fewer daunting teams plus a couple of in-division matchups to make up ground from the first half of the year. Go 3-1 over that span and the Steelers would sit at 6-6 heading into the home stretch which becomes doable. That’s the roadmap I’m looking at.

The Jets are finishing up their quirky AFC North gauntlet, starting the season off with four AFC North teams. They weren’t competitive against the Ravens and Bengals and needed a historic rally thanks to a couple of blown Browns’ coverages to win that game. Comparatively, the Steelers are a more favorable matchup.

For each team, a win still means a long journey on the other side. Both are in competitive divisions, the North and the East, with difficult schedules ahead of them. A win tomorrow doesn’t mean much if you lose the next three. But the focus has to be on this weekend’s game. The Steelers can win. They should win. They absolutely need to win. It’ll probably still be close and low-scoring because that’s how Pittsburgh has operated for the better part of two years but a win is a win. It’s a start. Some hope. A chance to shed the negativity on the inside and outside. Of course, the Jets are telling themselves the same exact thing.

Someone is going to get right.

And someone is going to be wrong.

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