The NY Jets find themselves in an intriguing Week 15 matchup against the Detroit Lions as they look to improve their playoff chances with a victory over one of the hottest teams in football. The Lions have now won five of their last six and are coming off a 34-23 beating they put on the (then) 10-2 Minnesota Vikings.
This is a very winnable game for the Jets considering their defense, but also a very dangerous one at the same time considering both offenses in this matchup.
Mike White is out. Zach Wilson is in. Depending on who you ask, that puts the Jets at a steeper disadvantage than if White was healthy and still under center. Luckily for Wilson and the Jets, the Lions have one of the worst defenses in the NFL if not THE worst.
Detroit is allowing 403.2 total yards a game and 26.7 points a game, which are both 31st in football. They're also allowing 263.4 passing yards a game, which is 30th in football, and 139.8 rushing yards a game, which ranks 26th. And not to mention they're allowing a 48.1% success rate on third downs.
It's pretty clear that the Lions cannot play defense, so regardless of your feelings on Zach Wilson and how bad he's been this season, I believe it's fair to say almost any quarterback in this league right now can put up points on this Detroit defense. We have to assume the Jets are going to be able to score in Week 15.
The question is going to be how the Jets defense stands up to Detroit's offense.
The NY Jets defense needs to live up to expectations in Week 15
The Jets unquestionably have one of the best defenses in football, but the Lions are also putting up 26.8 points a game, 376.4 yards a game, 127.5 rushing yards a game, and 248.8 passing yards a game.
The Lions are extreme on both sides of the ball with their defense being at the bottom and their offense being towards the top, so while the Jets might be elite on defense, they are still put up to a monumental task this Sunday trying to slow down the hottest team in football that's tearing it up on the offensive side of the ball.
I think the key to the game here, despite the fact that the Jets play very well on defense, is to keep Jared Goff and the Lions off the field and pound the run game.
You've got a struggling quarterback in Zach Wilson who's going to be looking to make big plays to save his job, and when he lets loose trying to play "hero ball," he typically doesn't find much success- at least from what we've seen from him in the NFL.
Wear out this Lions defense. Lean on them and keep their offense off the field.
This is an indoor football team you're going against. Jared Goff has not had the same kind of success in outdoor games in his career as he is 29-32-2 against the spread in outdoor games as opposed to 25-13 against the spread in indoor games.
Plus, it's supposed to be around 40 degrees with a low of 29 in East Rutherford — more advantage for the outdoor team versus the indoor team.
The Lions may be hotter than the sun right now — they may arguably be the best offense the Jets have seen all season (I said arguably) — but the Jets have a lot of advantages over this team and they should be able to come away with a victory moving to 8-6 on the season.
If the Jets' defense can do what it's done all year and throttle another good offense, forcing Goff to hold onto the ball long enough for the pass rush to come in, they are going to win this game.