The Jets have just hit the two minute warning. Week 16, two games to go and a three way tie for the division lead. Now if someone would have said back in the summer that the Jets would be 9-5 after 14 weeks and they would control their own destiny for the division, I'm sure all Jets fans would have signed up for that in a heartbeat. But with the Jets, things like that are never easy. This week they head up to the Pacific Northwest to take on the 3-11 Seahwaks. This is their fourth trip to the West coast this season, where at the moment they are 0-3 out there this year. But with the way things are going this season, if they lose this game, they may as well not come home.
If you go by the numbers, then this week should be a good week for New York and their passing game. The Seahawks have the 32nd ranked passing defense in the NFL. They have been giving up an average of 261 yards per game in the air this season. This may be just what Brett Favre and the offense need to get going for the rest of the season and hopefully the playoffs. Over the past three games, Favre has passed for 591 yards, one touchdown and 4 interceptions to add to his lead leading total of 17. If there is any chance to get back on track, it is this week. After two straight weeks of no shows, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery finally were involved in the offense last week for a total of 9 catches for 116 yards. However, Coles had no catches in the second half of that game. I expect Coles, Cotchery and Dustin Keller to all have big games this week. They also need to re-establish the screen pass in the offense again. Get the ball on a screen over to Leon Washington two or three times on Sunday and see what happens.
The Jets running game should also be solid this week as well. Seattle is ranked toward the bottom of the league in rushing defense, giving up around 120 yards per game on the ground. On the flip side, the Jets as a team get about 130 yards on the ground on offense, so I would expect the same on Sunday. Thomas Jones has had a great season to this point and with the way the offensive line has played this season, he should keep trucking along. He is still the AFC's leading rusher and will be able to plow over the Seahawks defensive line this week. With Jones and Washington in the backfield doing what they do, the Jets should be able to open up the passing game with better results then over the past three weeks.
After their second sub-par performance in the past three weeks, the run defense needs to bounce back in a big way this week. The Bills and Marshawn Lynch ran all over the Jets last week for a total of 187 yards, by far their worst performance of the season. They are still among the league leaders in yards allowed, giving up about 90 per game. Maurice Morris will be starting for Seattle this week and his numbers don't really jump out at you. He has only played in 11 games this season and is getting about 38 yards per game on the ground. This matchup seems to favor the Jets in a huge way. New York's Pro Bowl nose tackle Kris Jenkins has shown signs of wearing down over the past couple of weeks. With that being said, I expect him to have a huge game on Sunday. When they have had bad performances this season, he takes the blame on himself and usually bounces back with a solid performance. He knows what is on the line for the Jets and will use that as motivation this week.
Ironically enough, the passing defense is coming off one of their better games of the season last week. Against the Bills and backup QB J.P. Losman, the Jets gave up 148 yards passing and intercepted him three times. They are still ranked near the bottom of the league in yards allowed, giving up 241 yards per game. This week, the Jets will face Seneca Wallace who will be filling in for Matt Hasselbeck again this week. The good news for the Jets is that Wallace only throws for about 138 yards per game, but he does not turn it over. In the eight games he has played this season, he has thrown only one interception. As long as the Jets take away Seattle's running game then Wallace will have to beat them through the air. Sounds all well and good, but even that is tricky since he does not turn over the ball. If the Jets do not keep pressure on Wallace, then they will have a hard time covering the Seahawks number one receiver, John Carlson. The Jets have had a rough time covering TE's this season and if their not careful, he could burn them throughout this game.
The bottom line this week is that the Jets have no margin for error. Right now they control their own destiny in the division and a loss would cripple their playoff chances, especially with the Dolphins and Patriots playing so well right now. This is a veteran team and they know what they have to do. It's just time for the veteran leaders to step up and get this team where they need to go. Winning this will only make things easier heading into next week's showdown against the Dolphins. I say the Jets take care of business this week up in Seattle and take the game by a 30-13 score. The matchups seem to favor the Jets this week in a big way. If they do not win this week, you will be hearing a lot about the "Same Old Jets" next week.