After a tough matchup in Kansas City, the New York Jets come back home to play one of the best teams in the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks are a perennial Super Bowl threat due to their dynamic quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have a loaded roster that includes multiple All-Pros such as safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett among others.
The Jets will have a huge challenge in all three phases of the game. In order to come out on top, the Jets need to play a complete game with no mistakes. The Jets’ offense will be challenged greatly.
The Seahawks possess stars at every level of their defense. The Jets can ill-afford any turnovers on offense. The Jets will have to take what the Seahawks give them, since they play a conservative single high-zone defense. The deep passing game will surely be nearly non-existent, as Thomas’s range is second to none.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall will need to win his match-up with Sherman when they need him to. For the most part, the Jets will need to be balanced and establish a run game. They will surely utilize the screen game to Bilal Powell and Matt Forte.
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The one weakness of the Seahawks’ defense is the lack of a legit starting corner opposite Sherman.
The Jets will have their hands full on defense as well.
The Seahawks boast one of the most explosive arrays of weapons in the NFL.
Perhaps their greatest weapon, tight end Jimmy Graham, is coming off a major injury but still figures to be close to what he was two years ago. Linebacker Darron Lee and safety Calvin Pryor will be tasked with covering him.
The Seahawks run game is led by second year running back Thomas Rawls. Rawls had some huge games in place of the now-retired Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks arguably have the league’s weakest offensive line. The Jets’ behemoths up front need to dominate and force the Seahawks into third-and-longs.
The most important thing the Jets must achieve on defense is to tackle Wilson. They can’t let him escape and convert third-downs with his legs or by extending the play. The Jets’ loaded front seven should have no trouble getting pressure, but tackling Wilson will pose a huge challenge.
The Jets’ special teams will play a huge role in this game. Lockett is an electric return man who must be contained for the Jets to win. Punter Lachlan Edwards will be in the spotlight, as he needs to pin the Seahawks back, as well as kick away from Lockett.
Overall, the Seahawks are clearly a better team. With that being said, the Seahawks usually have trouble on the road, and are susceptible to an upset. This factor could be the Jets’ biggest advantage. The Jets, with their top defense, should be able to keep this game close. A gamble on fourth down or mistake by the Seahawks could propel the Jets to a huge upset win.