Finally we are back with a Jets game weekend. The second half of the season begins tomorrow at 4:05 as Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene and the rest of our beloved New York Jets take on Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and the Seattle Seahawks. The Jets travel into particularly hostile territory, as the 12th man is one of, if not the loudest, group of fans in the league, making communication on offense difficult. Let’s take a look at the history between these two teams:
The Seahawks lead the overall series 9-8, but the Jets have dominated of late, winning 8 out of the last 10 matchups. The last time these two teams met was back in December of 2008, when the Seahawks bested the Jets 13-3. It will be a tough one as we said, but here are some keys to a Jets victory:
STOP THE RUN
Marshawn Lynch has been bothered by a wrist injury all week, but from I have seen, it shouldn’t stop him from playing on Sunday, and he is tough. He is second in the league in rushing with 881 yards, and is averaging a whopping 97.8 yards per game. We have all seen how bad the Jets have been against the run this season, although they have been better over the last 100 carries, as coach Ryan pointed out this week. Even if Lynch is limited this weekend, Robert Turbin is no slouch either, running 4.3 yards per carry in limited attempts so far this season.
The defense is going to have to stay true to their assignments, set the edge, and limit the damage done against them on the ground. If they don’t, it is going to be a very long afternoon in Seattle.
GET TO RUSSELL WILSON
Ricky Sapp could make a huge difference here in his NFL debut. The Jets have to get to Russell Wilson with the pass rush early and often. Wilson is playing well, but like most quarterbacks, is affected negatively when under duress. His worst game of late was his game against San Francisco when he went 9-23 passing. He was under duress for most of that game, and under pressure, his mechanics can be influenced. He will throw off the wrong foot, and as any young quarterback, can be inaccurate under pressure.
He is fast, so they have to keep him contained, not letting him get outside where he can run for positive yardage, but they must be in his face all game long.
EFFICIENCY ON OFFENSE
The Seahawks defense has been an unsung hero of their team, near the top of the league in both rushing and passing defense. Mark and the crew are going to have to be efficient, no stupid turnovers. When Mark is efficient, so are the Jets, as they are 9-2 when he has a rating of 100 or better. They can be run on a bit, giving up 4.4 yards per carry. The Jets have a chance if they can establish the run early.
What does that mean? It means not to get too “cute”, by abandoning the run if it doesn’t work on the first couple of carries. Play physical, efficient football on offense.
These are your keys to the game. Enjoy it, hopefully we have the chance to.