— Florio’s take: Though the Jets beat the Steelers last month in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have had a great playoff run since losing the AFC title game six years ago, winning eight of nine postseason games. Eight of nine. But there’s something about these Jets, who somehow managed to go from being the preseason hype magnet to a team with a postseason chip on its shoulder. Those wins over the Colts and Patriots become meaningless absent a win over the Steelers, and though it won’t be easy, the Jets have a defense that can avoid being picked apart and an offense that can do just enough to get it done. Look for receiver Santonio Holmes, shipped out of Pittsburgh because he got himself suspended on the heels of Big Ben’s Milledgeville Misadventures, to be the difference maker when it counts, again.
Florio’s pick: Jets 24, Steelers 22.
Rosenthal’s take: The Jets beat the Patriots largely because they dominated the one-on-one matchups on the outside on both sides of the ball. That shouldn’t be the case in Pittsburgh. The young Steelers wide receivers can get deep against New York, especially if Darrelle Revis covers Hines Ward again. (Does Rex Ryan not think Revis can keep up with Mike Wallace? It doesn’t make sense.) I’m picking the Steelers for the same reason I did last week. In a matchup of great defenses, Pittsburgh’s D is better – especially at rushing the passer. Bart Scott talks; the Steelers linebackers make plays. Pittsburgh has the better quarterback and home field advantage. That should be enough.
Rosenthal’s pick: Steelers 24, Jets 17.