Seahawks vs Jets: Top 3 keys to victory for Gang Green

Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Heading into the Seahawks vs Jets Week 4 matchup, here are the top three keys to victory for Gang Green.

new york jets
new york jets /

Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

In the Seahawks vs Jets Week 4 matchup, the New York Jets will host the Seattle Seahawks in what seems to be a must-win game for Todd Bowles‘ group. Last week, they were embarrassed against the Chiefs putting up a three-point dud and turning it over eight times. Six of those turnovers were on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who had by far the worst outing of his 12-year career. The scary thing is this Week 4 matchup might be even tougher.

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Let’s continue to bash Gang Green’s performance, shall we? They were thoroughly outplayed from start to finish, however, you can make they case that they quit after the Jalin Marshall fumble. The effort in the second half was abysmal and the sad part was that the game was still winnable. If the Jets showed some guts, the outcome might’ve been different. With Pete Carroll‘s group coming to town this weekend, you have to be prepared.

As for the Seahawks, things are on the up outside of a few injuries. Seattle beat down the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 37-18 in what was an absolute field day for the offense. Christine Michael, Doug Baldwin, and Jimmy Graham, each had over 100 yards while backup quarterback Trevone Boykin also got in on the action. Despite the 2-1 start, Thomas Rawls remains out and Russell Wilson isn’t 100%, so the offense is for sure hurting heading into the contest.

The Jets’ are hurting a bit too. Wideout Eric Decker was recently ruled out with a shoulder injury that might need surgery to repair. That’s a big blow because they might’ve struggled to move the football even if he was active. Overall, they have to play near-perfect in order to come out on top. Here are the top three keys to victory for New York in this do-or-die showdown.

Next: 3. Contain Russell Wilson

Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles out of the pocket from Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn (94) in the first half of the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

3. Contain Russell Wilson

Wilson is banged up and it’ll be easier to keep him in check, but by no means will it be a cakewalk. The Jets have just two sacks since Week 1 and they’ve struggled mightily against scrambling quarterbacks. Tyrod Taylor thrived in Week 2 and Alex Smith found ways to pick apart the defense last weekend. Wilson is as good as he is because he’s incredible when it comes to using his legs to extend plays. He’s capable of moving the chains in any situation.

Gang Green’s stout run defense gives the Seahawks a reason to throw the ball as well. Christine Michael is finally stepping up in the backfield, although it’s tough for any running back to find success against the Jets’ front seven. According to TeamRankings, they’ve been a top-five run defense for the past three years. With all that said, Bowles and company should be expecting pass early and often. The Bengals gave the football to Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard a combined 14 times in the season opener yet they managed to win.

Seattle can do the same thing. All they truly need is a passing attack and Wilson’s mobility. For New York to take care of business, the outside linebackers must show up. Lorenzo Mauldin has to continue applying pressure while rookie Jordan Jenkins must build off his impressive NFL debut. Bowles would be smart to run plenty of cornerback and safety blitzes to keep Wilson in the pocket where he can’t do as much damage. There’s no excuse for the Jets to get shredded by Wilson, especially with how bad the Seahawks’ offensive line is.

Next: 2. Run the football

2. Run the football

Fitzpatrick was a disaster in Kansas City and things could get even worse against the Hawks. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor have to be licking their chops at the thought of six interceptions. Will it happen again? Probably not, however, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has to do everything in his power to make sure it doesn’t. This means it’s time to feed Matt Forte until his legs fall off. The All-Pro carried the ball 52 times combined in the first two contests, but he only had 15 in Week 3.

The guy is one of the league’s best and he’s arguably a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With Decker sidelined, this is a game where he should undoubtedly receive the workload he deserves. Gailey additionally needs to include Bilal Powell. He has a mere nine carries on the season along with nine receptions. As a player who really emerged on the scene towards the end of the 2015 campaign, you’d think that he’d make more of an impact. That hasn’t been the case so far. Perhaps giving him more touches can pull the offense out of the mud.

This is something that New York obviously has no other choice but to do. Seattle’s secondary is dangerous and you have someone in Forte who can put the offense on his back. The Jets’ offensive line has been a pleasant surprise through the first three games and they should lean on it. Brian Winters is playing like one of the best guards in football while Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale have held their own in place of Breno Giacomini. If running back Carlos Hyde can excel against the Seahawks, then Forte can as well.

Next: 1. Look out for Tyler Lockett

Sep 11, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) is pursued by Miami Dolphins free safety Michael Thomas (31) during a NFL game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Look out for Tyler Lockett

Just because Gang Green didn’t get burned on a deep ball against the Chiefs doesn’t mean they’re in the clear. The Jets’ secondary is extremely prone to giving up the big play and Seattle has several weapons who can take the top off a defense. Graham, Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, and Paul Richardson all pose a threat on deep balls, although Tyler Lockett is the guy who they need to focus on most.

The speedster is one of the best kick/punt returners in the league too. If there’s anything that the Jets have struggled with a lot as of late, it’s been kick/punt coverage and preventing the big play through the air. Unfortunately, Lockett can make them pay and he can do it multiple times. In 2015, he had 51 catches for 664 yards and six touchdowns. On special teams, he racked up 379 punt return yards and a touchdown along with 852 kick return yards and a touchdown.

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The Jets dodged a few bullets with wide receiver Tyreek Hill last Sunday and they’ll have to with Lockett. As a result, Darrelle Revis and Marcus Williams will need help over the top. Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor also have to bounce back from their shaky performance in Kansas City. Travis Kelce had his way with the defense torching them for 89 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. If Lockett hauls in seven passes, I’d bet two or three of them go for touchdowns given his speed. New York has to keep the football out of his hands or they’re doomed.