The New York Jets come to Seattle this weekend still looking for their first win of the season and looking to respond to a brutal last-minute loss last weekend. To learn more about the Seahawks' Week 14 opponent, Seahawks.com reached out the newyorkjets.com senior reporter Eric Allen with five questions about the Jets.
How has the team responded this week to seeing a potential first victory slip away in that fashion?
Allen: The loss to the Raiders was devastating and maybe it hung with the guys a little bit more than the NFL's typical 24-hour rule. Record aside, this group has a lot resolve and character. Veteran center Connor McGovern said the Jets were flying around at practice Wednesday and young running back Ty Johnson added that you need amnesia in this league. These guys are professionals who are playing for their jobs and they know that tomorrow isn't promised. I don't think the Raiders will beat them twice, and this is a team that has gotten better as the season has progressed. Three of their past four contests and four of their past six games have been one-possession losses.
What will a change at defensive coordinator mean for the Jets' defense?
Allen: Frank Bush is one of the most respected people in the organization. He has coordinator experience (Houston 2009-10) and has spent a lot of years with head coach Adam Gase. Bush has done a fine job with the inside linebackers, a unit that is starting a pair of former undrafted free agents in Neville Hewitt, who is 8th in the NFL with 101 total tackles, and Harvey Langi, who's averaged 9.3 tackles per contest over the last four games. As far as how Bush will call a game differently than the departed Gregg Williams, we're about to find out. The Jets will continue to be stout against the run, but the key questions this week will be whether they can sustain pressure for 60 minutes against Russell Wilson and also how will an awfully young secondary, a backfield that could get cornerback Bless Austin back in the lineup, handle the 'Hawks monsters on the outside in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Maybe this is obvious since he's the starting quarterback and all, but what can getting Sam Darnold back for the closing stretch of the season do for the Jets?
Allen: Gase said Darnold needs every rep he can get right now. A right shoulder injury forced him to the sidelines for a pair of two-game stints, so Darnold will be playing just his ninth game this weekend. He's played only two games with Jets' top three receivers and impressive rookie Denzel Mims, a second-round pick from Baylor who's had at least 40 yards receiving in each of his first six career games and who's registered a catch of at least 20 yards in his last five games, could be out Sunday after tending to a personal matter. Darnold accounted for three touchdowns last week, but he also had three turnovers. When Darnold is on, he is patient in the pocket and he also can make plays when things around him break down. The Jets rush attack, which amassed 206 yards against the Raiders, is an encouraging sign and that could help open some things in the play-action passing game.
I saw Darnold had nice things to say about him, but what's the view of Jamal Adams from New York now that he's in Seattle/how are the Jets approaching facing him this weekend?
Allen: The Jets believe Jamal Adams is an elite player, a defensive disruptor who did a lot of good things in New York. GM Joe Douglas never had plans to trade Adams, but he thought the Seahawks' offer was too good to pass up. In terms of roster building, the Jets have a combined four first-round selections in 2021 and 2022 and nine picks in the first three rounds over the next two years. The Jets know they have to account for Adams, who's closing in on a single-season sack record by a defensive back, every play. Darnold said the Jets will have their hands full with him, and Jamison Crowder added that his former teammate can wreak havoc. They are well aware of his skill set and they respect what Adams does on a football field.
What are a couple of matchups you're looking forward to seeing play out on Sunday?
Allen: Left tackle Mekhi Becton has already become one of the NFL's top run blockers and the 'Hawks had some difficulty in stopping the run last week against the cross-town Giants as their left tackle, Andrew Thomas, had an impressive performance. Becton could line up against both Benson Mayowa and Raheem Green and it will be interesting if he can get to the second level and find Adams. All eyes will be on Adams when he is sent in on Darnold and I'm curious to see how the Jets handle an improving Seattle rush. On the other side of the ball, this is a very youthful secondary that is going to see one of the most formidable wideout tandems in the league. Can they keep the ball in front and can the defensive line, led by an emerging force in defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, bring heat for 60 minutes and keep Russell Wilson in the pocket?