Their record certainly isn't great. Their offense has been bad-to-deplorable during certain stretches and their secondary could be the worst in the NFL.
The Jets' backs are up against the proverbial wall. Sitting at 1-8, one loss from clinching their third consecutive sub-.500 season, the Jets become a very dangerous team. While the Steelers and every other team approaches it one game at a time, teams like the Jets don't even have to do that. Neither coaches nor players have any great job security when their team doesn't win, and that brings out unconventional game-planning.
Perhaps it doesn't even go that deeply, though. The Jets had enough of the Geno Smith Experiment, benching him in favor of athletic, veteran journeyman Michael Vick.
Vick performed fairly well in the Jets' recent 24-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, completing 21 of 28 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps he's playing himself back into shape or perhaps the offense just isn't good enough. Maybe the Jets just needed a full complement of snaps to get a feel for what Vick can do, and he's capable of digging deep into their playbook now.
James Harrison destroyed the Baltimore Ravens.
That's all on Vick, though. The real concern with this team is the combination of defensive linemen - the brash Sheldon Richardson and the powerful Mo Wilkerson.
Richardson is as good a defensive tackle as there is in the NFL, and Wilkerson is equally good as a 5-technique defensive end. They're both amazingly quick, and largely cannot be stopped 1-on-1. After having faced the excellent cadre of defensive linemen in Baltimore, the Steelers get the fun of taking on another good one with the Jets.
Having two players who will command that much attention creates issues across the entire offense. While clearly teams have managed to make do with working around them (teams have scored 30 points or more in four of the Jets' eight consecutive losses), one big play can change the course of a game. Both of these players are capable of making those kinds of plays.
Along with that, one of the league's best kick returners, Percy Harvin, lays in wait. Steelers fans might remember him from 2009 when Harvin busted loose on an 88-yard kickoff return touchdown in Pittsburgh's win over the Vikings at Heinz Field. That wasn't exactly a year of special teams dominance in Pittsburgh, and Harvin, for all his potential, lived up to the hype as a return man. He's dangerous and he should be a source of significant concern for the Steelers in this game.