On Sunday the New York Jets (3-5) take on the Seattle Seahawks (5-4) at CenturyLink Field (4:05 EST). The Jets are coming off of a bye week (and a terrible loss to the Dolphins the week before) while Seattle remains confident after a victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game from the New York Jets perspective.
Weather the storm- The New York Jets are entering a hornet’s nest as CenturyLink field is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. The Seahawks are known for their “12th man” and the Jets must be prepared to deal with a ridiculous amount of crowd noise. Mark Sanchez should utilize quick snap counts, silent counts, and hand signals to offset the crowd. The last thing you want to see is false start penalties and blown blocking assignments due to communication issues.
Offensive line play- The Seahawks have a very physical, aggressive defense that is going to attack Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense. Seattle is solid against the run (ranked 11th in the NFL) and has 2 pass rushers in Bruce Irvin (5 sacks) and Chris Clemons (7 sacks) that can cause havoc. Gang Green’s offensive line must play physical at the line of scrimmage and remain consistent in terms of blocking. The Jets must be solid in blitz pickup and cannot afford to have blown blocking assignments. I would not be surprised to see Seattle go after the right side of the Jets line, mainly right tackle Austin Howard.
Receivers must get separation- The Jets receivers are going to have their hands full on Sunday as the Seahawks have arguably one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Richard Sherman (6’3) and Brandon Browner (6’4) do an excellent job in pass coverage while safety Earl Thomas lays the lumber over the middle. The Jets receivers must find ways to get separation from coverage in order to give Mark Sanchez some type of window to the pass ball. This could be a huge game for Jeremy Kerley coming out of the slot position.
Get Keller going- There is a good chance that the Jets receivers are going to struggle on Sunday therefore the Jets must look to tight end Dustin Keller to open up the passing game. Keller can be moved all around the field which will help keep the Seattle defense honest and possibly open up some passing lanes.
Man up against Marshawn- The Seattle offense is built around running back Marshawn Lynch who is 2nd in the NFL with 881 yards rushing. Lynch is one of the most physical runners in the NFL and will run you over if you make a halfhearted attempt to bring him down. The Jets defense must pound on Lynch and remain very consistent in terms of tackling. Gang Green’s defense cannot afford to give up chunks on the ground as it will expose them to a very dangerous play action passing game.
Defend the deep passing game- Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson does an excellent job getting the ball down the field to his playmakers. Wilson is not scared to air it out and many times receivers Sidney Rice and Golden Tate go up and make plays for him. The Jets secondary must have a solid day in coverage and avoid blown coverages due to communication issues. Note: Braylon Edwards makes his first appearance against his old team on Sunday. Don’t be surprised to see Seattle try to get Edwards involved in some type of big play early on in the game.
Match-up with Miller- Once again the Jets are facing a tight end that can make some plays if he is not accounted for. Gang Green must match-up with Zach Miller and prevent him from opening up the Seattle passing game. As of now linebacker Bart Scott is questionable for Sunday which means rookie Demario Davis could see some time covering Miller.
As you look at the Seattle Seahawks they are the type of team that Rex Ryan always talks about. Seattle is built around a great running game and a fast, physical defense. Ground and pound anyone?
In my eyes this is a terrible match-up for the Jets. On offense I think that the Jets are going to struggle to run the ball which is going to put a ton of pressure on Mark Sanchez and the passing game. The Jets pedestrian wide receivers will be exposed in this game which means Dustin Keller better have a huge game or Gang Green is in trouble.
On defense I am not quite sure if the Jets will be able to match Seattle’s physicality. If Gang Green comes out soft or flat they will get mauled by Marshawn and company.
This could be an old school butt kicking. Seahawks 27-10