With a 3-5 record and coming off their bye week, the New York Jets head across the country to face the 5-4 Seattle Seahawks, not exactly the best way for the reeling Jets to open the second half of their season.
Gang Green has had more than a week to regroup after the Week 8 embarrassing home loss to the Miami Dolphins. Facing Seattle at arguably the loudest stadium in the NFL will be a big test, but if the Jets want to turn around their season, a win this afternoon would be a great way to start.
"Definitely make the playoffs"
Jets loud mouth and shutdown corner Antonio Cromartie made that boastful claim earlier in the week. But with the lack of depth in the AFC and the Jets remaining schedule, a playoff birth is not out of the question.
After Seattle, New York faces the Rams in St. Louis before taking on New England on Thanksgiving Night. They then play five very winnable games — home versus Arizona, on the road in Jacksonville and Tennessee, home versus San Diego and at Buffalo — to end the season. An 8-8 record is not out of the question, and that might be good enough to make the tournament in this year's AFC.
The 12th Man
CenturyLink Field is often described as the loudest stadium in the league. And to mimic the expected sound generated by the 67,000 fans, the Jets used piped in music during practice this week.
The Seahawks boast the No. 4 ranked defense in football, which does not create a promising matchup for the Jets' No. 27 ranked offense. Seattle is seventh against the pass — the Jets passing offense is No. 25 — and they rank 11th versus the run, something the Jets have improved on the last few weeks.
Mark Sanchez' former college coach, Pete Carroll, will surely have some things in mind when it comes to disrupting the Jets offense, so expect New York to finally get Tim Tebow involved more, keeping the Seahawks guessing and limiting the crowd's impact.
Believe it or not, but statistically, the Seahawks offense is worse than the Jets. They rank 29th overall — 31st pass, seventh run — and with the Jets' 16th ranked defense, it could make for a low scoring game.
The one advantage Seattle would seem to have is with running back Marshawn Lynch — who missed two days of practice this week but will play. The Jets have been, let's be honest, putrid against the run, ranking No. 29 in the league. Lynch has rushed for 881 yards and four scores this season, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Expect rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who has not made many mistakes lately, to rely on Lynch to move the ball against the Jets struggling defense, whose players have said they are preparing to throw different things at the rookie from Wisconsin.
Lastly, former Jet Leon Washington ranks sixth in the league with a 29.1 average on kickoff returns, and the Jets recent struggles on special teams have been well documented and discussed. Do not be surprised if this game turns on a special teams play.
State of the Jets
Joe McKnight and Kendrick Ellis are out. Bilal Powell, Nick Mangold and Bart Scott all were limited in practice throughout the week and are listed as questionable, along with Sione Pouha, Eric Smith and Brandon Moore.
Jets: Sanchez - 1,736 yards, 10 TDs, 8 INTs
Seahawks: Wilson - 1,639 yards, 13 TDs, 8 INTs
Jets: Greeene - 139 carries for 509 yards, 5 TDs
Seahawks: Lynch - 185 carries for 881 yards, 4 TDs
Jets: Kerley - 30 catches for 478 yards, 2 TDs
Seahawks: Rice - 32 catches for 421 yards, 4 TDs
Jets: Harris - 65 tackles
Seahawks: Wagner - 72 tackles
Jets: Coples, Pace, McIntyre, Thomas - 2.0 sacks
Seahawks: Clemons - 7.0 sacks
JETS @ SEAHAWKS
When: 11/11, 4:05 p.m.
Where: CenturyLink Field
TV: CBS, Marv Albert and Rich Gannon
Radio: ESPN New York 98.7
Line: Jets +6