The Seahawks host the Jets on Sunday in a battle of two teams still fighting for playoff berths while also trying to get back to their winning ways. To help you get ready for this week's game, we reached out the newyorkjets.com team reporter Ethan Greenberg with five questions about this week's opponent:
The Jets are in a similar place to the Seahawks, having started fast before losing five of six while still clinging to playoff contention. What has gone into the Jets' recent struggles after such a promising start and what do they need to do to get back on track?
Greenberg: The Jets need to get back to running the football effectively. They're 5-1 when rushing for over 100 yards and 2-7 when they don't. The Green & White haven't eclipsed the century mark since Week 13 at Minnesota in a 27-22 loss. Robert Saleh said opposing teams have recently stacked the box against the Jets offense and they couldn't take advantage through the air. With Mike White, who averaged 317 passing yards per game in three starts this season, back in the lineup, I expect the offense to be more efficient. White said efficiency has been an emphasis this week.
In another similarity between these teams, it appears the turnover battle hasn't gone the Jets' way of late, how big of a factor has that been in the recent losing streak?
Greenberg: Since their bye week, the Jets have 2 takeaways, which is last in the NFL in that span. But I think the losses have been more of a result of the lack of offensive efficiency. The Jets have averaged 14.7 points per game and converted 26.7% of their red zone trips since the bye week. The offense has averaged 88.2 yards per game on the ground compared to 116.0 in Weeks 1-9 when the team started 6-3.
It looks like it's back to Mike White at quarterback, what has he brought to the offense when he has been the starter?
Greenberg: White has been efficient in moving the offense down the field. In addition to leading the league with 552 yards on passes of 10-plus air yards in Weeks 12-14, his 108.2 passer rating on such passes this season ranks 6th in the NFL among passers with 125 total attempts. The Jets have had four games since 2019 with 450+ total yards and White was the starter in all four. He's the only QB since 1950 whose team totaled 450+ total yards in four of his first 10 career starts.
Aside from the obvious big names, what player(s) could you see being an X-factor in this one?
Greenberg: I'll give one offense and one on defense, starting with WR Corey Davis. Davis was the Jets' most consistent receiver in training camp. Rookie Garrett Wilson has obviously emerged as one of the best young receivers in the NFL, but Davis has been a reliable option for whomever has been under center, particularly on third (and fourth) down. He's also the best run-blocking wideout on the roster. Defensively, John Franklin-Myers has 4 sacks this season and hasn't had a sack since Week 12 against the Bears. The Jets try to impose their will with their defensive line and with Seahawks RT Abraham Lucas not practicing Wednesday, JFM becomes more in focus.
What matchup or matchups are you most looking forward to seeing play out on Sunday?
Greenberg: The Jets secondary against the Seahawks playmakers. Rookie Pro Bowl CB Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed, a Pro Bowl alternate, have been playing at a very high level. Gardner leads the NFL with 16 pass defenses but hasn't had a lot of opportunities lately. He was not targeted once in Week 15 against the Lions. The Jets have held some of the NFL's best receivers under 50 yards e.g., Ja'Marr Chase (29), Tyreek Hill (47), Justin Jefferson (45) and Stefon Diggs (37 in Week 14). DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, if he plays, will be one of the best wideout duos the Green & White have seen all season.
Take a look back at some of the top shots of Seahawks linebacker Cody Barton from the 2022 season, presented by Carmax.