Pregame Look: Seahawks vs. Jets

Dec 13, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Poona Ford (97) tackles New York Jets running back Frank Gore (21) during the first quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks had a disappointing game last week against the Kansas City Chiefs. Their offense once again was mediocre at best, and the defense began to wear down because of it. It was a colder environment than the team is used to, however, the Seahawks couldn’t find the end zone more than once in their effort. The rushing unit was nonexistent in the first half, and not having Tyler Lockett seemed to have a massive impact on the Seahawks’ ability to pass.

It’s a new week, and the Seahawks now must win out in order to sneak into the playoffs. They need some other things to happen as well, such as the Packers and Commanders losing one of their last two games. Seattle is taking on the Jets, who also have slim playoff hopes after their fall off the last five weeks. With both teams in dire need of a win, expect the game to be close and physical. Seattle will need to do what has given them their only success this year. They have to be able to run the football and control time of possession. The Seahawks controlled time of possession in Kansas City, however without being able to run the football the Chiefs’ defense was able to bend but never break. Geno Smith and company have to be able to finish their drives this week and give the defense some breathing room. In terms of the defense, they need to win the line of scrimmage in order to disrupt the ground game. They held their own against arguably the best offensive team in football against the Chiefs last week, however, they have to be even better this week if the offense continues to struggle. Stopping the rush, and creating pressure on pass plays are going to be essential if they want to limit the Jets’ offense this week.

The Jets will be rolling with Mike White, who just got cleared by medical staff to return this week. However rib injuries can cause severe caution for quarterbacks, and if he has any discomfort before or during the game, Joe Flacco will take over duties. With White, the Jets’ offense is much more competent, and he gives them much more of a challenge for Seattle’s defense than New York’s other options. The Jets also have a well-rounded defense, with rookie standout Sauce Gardner taking responsibility for Metcalf on Sunday. With possibly the return of Tyler Lockett, former Seahawk DJ Reed will be following Lockett around in coverage as the #2 man. Quinnen Williams and CJ Mosley will lead New York’s front seven.

Week 17 has become the new do-or-die week, and these two teams are under immense pressure to win. One team will keep their playoff hopes alive, while the other will be officially eliminated. These teams have beat their expectations already for the season, and they now get to face off in what should be the best game of the year for each of them.