The Jets season is on the line as they head to Seattle, and they’ll need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
At 7–8, they’ll be going against their former quarterback, Geno Smith, and the 7–8 Seahawks.
For the Jets, Mike White will be back under center after missing the last two games with a rib injury.
So, what do White and the Jets need to do to be successful on Sunday? Here’s three keys for Gang Green:
Establish the run game
The Jets lost rookie Breece Hall earlier in the season to an ACL injury, and have been relying on undrafted rookie Bam Knight and Michael Carter.
Last week, in their loss to the Jaguars, the Jets couldn’t do much on the ground, and totaled just 66 yards on the ground. Before that, when they fell to the Detroit Lions, the team was even worse — recording just 50 yards on the ground.
Luckily, they’ll be facing the Seahawks, who have given up the second-most rushing yards of any team in the NFL this season at 2,333.
With White under center while nursing a rib injury, they’ll need to control the flow of the game. That starts with establishing the running game.
The Jets defense has been good this season, but they’ll need to step up against Geno Smith during his magical comeback season.
Gang Green has recorded the 10th-most sacks of any defense in the league at 40, so they’ve shown an ability to get after opposing quarterbacks.
Meanwhile, Seattle has surrendered the 11th-most sacks of any team at 39.
That will come in handy as the defense looks to help-out their struggling offense by giving them as many opportunities as possible.
If Gang Green can get after Smith, they should feel confident that their secondary can capitalize on long-yardage situations.
Mike White needs to step up
It seems obvious, but the game will largely depend on Mike White’s play.
White took over for Zach Wilson after a horrific performance in Week 11 against the Patriots, and managed to become an instant favorite among teammates and fans alike.
He played three games under center, before suffering a rib injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 14.
During that time, White boasted a 62.02% completion rate, while tossing 317.3 yards and a touchdown per game.
Now, he’s going against a beatable Seahawks team.
The team is loaded with solid talent in the wide receiving core, and the offensive line is as healthy as they’ve been all season — so White will get a fair chance.
But, he’s still young and prone to mistakes.
How he plays will go a long way towards Gang Green’s efforts to return to a .500 record and keep the lights on of their playoff hopes.