Something’s got to give in the New York Jets Week 17 games against the Seattle Seahawks. It’s a contest featuring teams mired in losing streaks but still holding hopes of making the playoffs. Ahead of the crucial Jets-Seahawks game, we’ll be making our New York Jets Week 17 predictions.
The Jets (7-8) have lost four in a row and six of their past eight games after a 5-2 start. The past two weeks they’ve lost to sub-.500 teams, albeit ones on the upswing, in the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Yet New York can still earn a wild card berth in the AFC. If they win their final two games against the Seahawks and Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots lose one more game, the Jets are in.
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First New Year's resolution on the list:
Get a W. pic.twitter.com/MHvBhau0MF
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 29, 2022
The Seahawks (7-8) have lost three straight and five of six after a 6-3 start. They’ve lost three in a row at home, including an egregious 30-24 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers in Week 14. But they remain alive in the NFC playoff hunt.
Someone’s dream will die Sunday.
That said, let’s check out at our New York Jets Week 17 predictions.
4. The Jets defense will force multiple turnovers
A big reason why the Jets have struggled down the stretch is that they are not forcing turnovers. They have just two in the past six games after creating at least one turnover in each of their first nine games.
Not a surprise that the Jets were 6-3 to start the season and are 1-5 since.
They got one last week, when a Quinnen Williams sack led to a Trevor Lawrence fumble on the first drive in their 19-3 loss to the Jaguars.
Quinnen Williams gets the strip sack on Trevor Lawrence 😤#JAXvsNYJ #TakeFlight
— SportsGridRadio (@SportsGridRadio) December 23, 2022
The Jets offense needs all the help it can get. And that means it needs the defense to not only make stops and keep the score manageable, but it would benefit playing with a short field, the kind that turnovers typically provide.
This week, the Jets defense will deliver. Facing a Seahawks offense that has committed at least one turnover in each game this season, and more than one five times, the Jets will force multiple turnovers Sunday.
3. The running game will pick up again for the Jets
The Jets have rushed for 76 yards or fewer in each of their past three games. Coach Robert Saleh noted this week that their opponents are “stacking the box” to stop the run and that the Jets must “back them off” by establishing a consistent rushing attack.
That means the offensive line needs to start winning battles, open lanes and impose their will as they did earlier in the season.
🎥 Jets OC Mike LaFleur addresses the team's lack of running game during 4-game losing streak — @BrandonLondonTV with the story pic.twitter.com/Uq1MWKlM8u
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) December 29, 2022
It also means that at least one of their running backs needs to step forward and be a difference maker. Undrafted rookie Zonovan “Bam” Knight has come closest to replacing Breece Hall after their dynamic leading rusher sustained a torn ACL in Week 7. But Knight has rushed for 21 yards on 19 carries the past two games.
Michael Carter has gained 66 yards on 25 carries the past five games.
It looks bleak but there are glimmers of hope. First, Mike White is healthy and starting again in place of the benched Zach Wilson. So, that should lead to a more accurate passing game, which, in theory, should help the running game.
Second, and more important, the Seahawks have the 31st-ranked rushing defense in the NFL. They allow 155.5 yards on the ground per game.
If not now, then when?
They won’t have eye-popping numbers, but the Jets will regain their footing in the run game, rushing for at least 100 yards this week against the Seahawks.
2. Mike White will match Geno Smith in intriguing QB matchup
The quarterback matchup between Mike White and Geno Smith makes for an intriguing subplot to this game. White, the Jets current starter, is back after missing two weeks with fractured ribs and has again displaced Zach Wilson, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. Smith, who displaced Mark Sanchez as the Jets starting QB in 2013, made the Pro Bowl this season after resurrecting his career with the Seahawks.
The QB advantage goes to the Seahawks. Smith leads the NFL with a 70.7 completion percentage. When in rhythm, as he has been most of the season, Smith makes quick, smart decisions and is terrific in the short- and medium-passing game. Even though he wouldn’t admit it this week, Smith must have a tinge of revenge to motivate him for how his Jets career vaporized so quickly.
"I got a lot of love for the Jets, the organization, and a lot of people that are still there that were there when I got drafted"
Geno Smith was asked if there's any extra motivation playing the Jets this week: pic.twitter.com/KpIQNRxa21
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) December 29, 2022
But there’s something special about how White lifts the Jets. His return will be a major spark to the offense, even if he’s limited because of the injury to his ribs.
Look for White to match Smith this week and negate what should be a Seahawks advantage.
1. The Jets playoff hopes remain alive with a road win in Seattle
The Jets have not helped themselves at all the past month. They’ve lost a stretch of close games and are still in the playoff hunt because the Dolphins and Patriots have faltered badly, too.
They will finally come through this week against the Seahawks. White will spark the offense, the defense will contain Geno Smith, DK Metcalf and Co., New York will win the turnover battle and the Jets will end their four-game slide with a convincing victory.
The Jets will head into Week 18 with a chance to make the playoffs after a 27-17 win against the Seahawks.