Who: New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks
When: 4:05 p.m. EST
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Media: TV – CBS, DirecTV – 712, Radio – ESPN 98.7 FM, Sirius – 94, Sirius XM – XM 233 Internet Audio – NFL Fieldpass.
Their Previous Meeting: The last time these two teams met, the Jets were reeling as a losing streak placed their playoffs hopes in doubt under the direction of Eric Mangini and THE Brett Favre. On Mike Holmgren’s final home game appearance as head coach of the Seahawks, Seneca Wallace would outplay Favre who threw two interceptions with no touchdowns. It was a defensive battle from the beginning as the Jets took a 3-0 lead off a Jay Feely field goal however, the Jets allowed Wallace to find John Carlson on a two yard pass with 31 seconds left in the first half to give Seattle a 7-3 lead they would not relinquish. Credit the Jets defense though as they held Seattle to two field goals in the third and fourth quarter however, their inability to generate any offense cost them a chance at victory as they lost 13-3.
Jets: TE Jeff Cumberland (Wrist–Probable), DE Mike DeVito (Finger–Probable), NT Kenrick Ellis (Knee–Out), WR Clyde Gates (Shoulder–Probable), NT Damon Harrison (Thumb–Probable), WR Jeremy Kerley (Heel–Probable), S LaRon Landry (Heel–Probable), C Nick Mangold (Ankle–Questionable), RB/KR Joe McKnight (Ankle–Out), G Brandon Moore (Hip–Questionable), LB Calvin Pace (Shin–Probable), NT Sione Po’uha (Low Back–Questionable), RB Bilal Powell (Shoulder–Questionable), QB Mark Sanchez (Low Back–Probable), LB Bart Scott (Toe–Questionable), G Matt Slauson (Knee–Probable), and S Eric Smith (Knee–Questionable).
Seahawks: WR Doug Baldwin (Ankle–Probable), DE Red Bryant (Foot–Probable), G James Carpenter (Concussion–Out), S Kam Chancellor (Quadriceps–Probable), WR Braylon Edwards (Knee–Probable), DT Jason Jones (Ankle–Probable), RB Marshawn Lynch (Back/Wrist–Probable), DT Clinton McDonald (Groin–Questionable), G John Moffitt (Knee–Probable), DE Greg Scruggs (Oblique–Doubtful), CB Richard Sherman (Illness–Probable), C Max Unger (Finger–Probable), and LB K. J. Wright (Concussion–Out).
Jets: QB Greg McElroy, RB Joe McKnight, LB Aaron Maybin, G Caleb Schlauderaff, G Hayworth Hicks, TE Hayden Smith, and NT Kenrick Ellis.
Seahawks: S Winston Guy, CB Walter Thurmond, LB K. J. Wright, DT Clinton McDonald, T Mike Person, G James Carpenter, and DE Greg Scruggs.
Game Captains: QB Mark Sanchez, WR Jason Hill, OLB Ricky Sapp, CB Isaiah Trufant, and S Eric Smith.
Post Scriptum: The password to the chatroom is case-sensitive and must be entered as shown: sappyourstrength
To say this season has been a struggle would be an understatement. Decimated by injuries to key players and poor play on both sides of the ball, it’s no wonder as to how the Jets now find themselves with a 3-5 record. Granted, not all hope is lost considering the entire AFC, aside from pretty much the Texans, has played poor this year and a 9-7 record could probably secure you a playoff berth at this point. Still, the Jets are knocking on the basement door of the AFC East and have struggled to play at a consistently high level with spurts here and there.
Their schedule in the second half is technically easier but as we know the Jets have always had a penchant for beating themselves and facing a hot team like the Seahawks on their home turf where they have yet to be defeated will prove to be a task to be sure. It will be a reunion of sorts. Familiar faces such as former Bills running back Marshawn Lynch will be the responsibility of the defense to hold in check then of course the enigmatic Braylon Edwards (NO! Get over yourselves already, the ship has sailed!), Leon Washington and of course who could forget head coach for a year Mr. Pete Carroll.
Offensively, the Jets need to get something, anything going. If you were in denial before, this year has all but confirmed the talent has indeed regressed as Joe Namath pointed out a few days ago and it’s quite evident by Sanchez’s play. He needs the right pieces in order to succeed and to that end, the Front Office has failed. Obviously the emergence of Jeremy Kerley has been a welcomed addition but Stephen Hill continues to go through significant growing pains while Chaz Schilens is hit or miss. Clyde Gates has seen significant time as the weeks have passed and actually led the team in yards against Miami while the Jets re-signed veteran Jason Hill during the BYE and will likely get a few looks. For Sanchez, it’s all about placement and security. If he can make the throws that need to be made then all will be well. Unfortunately, like everything else, it’s hit or miss. The run game will figure to factor in greatly especially if the Jets’ air game cannot decipher the Seahawks’ defense which makes matters worse when you consider the struggles Shonn Greene has been through this season. While Bilal Powell is expected to play, he is still battling his shoulder injury and McKnight has already been ruled out leaving the Jets with a very slim running back committee which may mean more of the Wildcat–or they could try using Tebow in a conventional running back role but that would be rather experimental to start that in the middle of a game in which a victory would go a long way. The offensive line is somewhat in flux too. While Mangold, as always, remains the constant, the men to both sides of him are uncertain. Slauson and Ducasse have been splitting reps while Moore has been battling a hip injury and is questionable but will likely play and then there’s Austin Howard who hasn’t been spectacular but has done a commendable job given the situation he was thrust into.
Defensively, what was once the Jets’ strong suit has hurt them quite a bit this year and the absence of Darrelle Revis certainly has not helped their cause. The lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks isn’t exactly a novelty but players such as Aaron Maybin have been disappointing this year. The Jets will undoubtedly give Ricky Sapp at least some minutes to see if he can remedy that issue after he drew rave reviews while rehabbing and practicing with the scout team. The defensive line will have their hands full with Marshawn Lynch who has done considerably well for the ‘Hawks and with Sione Po’uha still not at 100% with his nagging back injury and Kenrick Ellis still out, it will be up to guys like Mike DeVito to keep Lynch in check and this may force the team to use Damon Harrison extensively at the nose unless they decide to use more four man fronts which has been the trend this season. The linebackers will obviously be the main focal point as their play has been inconsistent this year however, they have gained some speed with Demario Davis and Marcus Dowtin though their technique could use some refining. David Harris will be the quarterback as always but he has underwhelmed this year and could stand for a bounce-back game. Antonio Cromartie has seemingly opened his own island with Revis shut down for the season and continues to be a leader on the field for this team. Kyle Wilson has been, as expected, inconsistent and you just hope he can make plays when necessary. Isiaiah Trufant has carved a niche for himself replacing Wilson in the slot and was successful in shutting down Wes Welker three weeks before and will have a coming home party where he’ll reunite with his brother Marcus, the cornerback for the ‘Hawks. It will certainly be a difficult task but the Jets have the ability to come out of the BYE and make a statement and against this hot Seattle team on their own home turf would be the perfect place to do so if they are really committed to salvaging this season.