Scouting the NY Jets Week 16 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, NY Jets
Trevor Lawrence, NY Jets / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Going into Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, the NY Jets were riding a six-game losing streak when facing Miami on the road. That streak was extended to seven after the clock hit double-zeros.

The Jets lost to the Dolphins by a score of 31-24. A valiant effort fell short as the Jets are now 0-5 in divisional games this season. New York was able to string together an impressive first quarter, only to unsurprisingly collapse as the game went on.

The Jets haven’t been very efficient on opening drives this season, so it was encouraging to see a touchdown on the board early in the contest for Gang Green.

It went downhill rather quickly thereafter. The Dolphins were able to go on a 21-7 run in the second half, making adjustments that the Jets seemed all too inept to adapt to.

Center Connor McGovern was quoted after the game saying that Miami brought “different forms of pressure” post-halftime. The Jets seemed to have moderate control of the line of scrimmage throughout the first half, keeping quarterback Zach Wilson reasonably clean throughout two quarters of play.

McGovern’s diagnosis of Miami’s pressure adjustments seems to check out, but it surely isn’t an excuse for the offensive line's poor play as the second half began.

The NY Jets could redeem themselves against the lowly Jaguars in Week 16

They’ll have a chance to redeem themselves against this week’s opponent. The 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars are traveling up the northeast to take on the 3-11 Jets at MetLife Stadium this Sunday.

The headlines will most certainly be cluttered with Trevor Lawrence vs. Zach Wilson — the former No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks, respectively, in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Zach Wilson shouldn’t make this game any bigger than it actually is. Wilson has to continue to hone in on his mechanics that have seemed to put a taint on his 2021 campaign.

While Wilson shouldn’t have to feel the urge to outperform Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a strong performance from Wilson would help ease some concern that many fans have stressed throughout parts of the season.

Jacksonville’s record shouldn’t be the tell-all in terms of their talent. The Jaguars host one of the league’s rising talents in second-year running back James Robinson.

Robinson, who many suggest was used inefficiently under former head coach Urban Meyer, has 757 rushing yards in 13 games so far this season for Jacksonville. The Jets have struggled mightily against the run this season, giving up 142 yards per game on the ground.

Slowing Robinson down will be a substantial task, one that New York may not be able to accomplish, but it’ll go a long way to recording a fourth win.

The Jets have a running back of their own that they’re particularly high on. Rookie Michael Carter returned to the lineup after missing three games with a short stint on the injured reserve.

It didn’t seem like Carter did much in his return, although the eye test proved otherwise. Every time Carter has the ball in his hands, it feels like the first player attempting to tackle him, misses.

That happened on multiple occasions Sunday against the Dolphins. Carter will look to build on an underwhelming return with a favorable matchup against the Jaguars.

This game has been circled on the calendars of every Jets and Jaguars fan since the 2021-22 schedule was released back in May

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Regardless of if this matchup lives up to pre-season expectations, it’ll be something to see two highly-touted quarterbacks take the field together for the first time in their young careers.