Jets vs. Texans Week 14 Preview: How to watch, keys to the game, and more

Jets vs. Texans Game Preview
Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans safety Jimmie Ward (1) celebrates with teammates after making an interception during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At 4-8, the New York Jets’ playoff hopes have been all but dashed. Outside of the regular disappointment that comes from a 13-year playoff drought, there are still plenty of reasons to watch the team in the final month of the season. 

Whether it’s the attempt to acquire a top draft pick, or looking for improvement on the offensive side, as ugly as the season has gone, there’s plenty to still keep an eye on for Gang Green. Even more interesting is the fact that this week has already been a messy one for the organization. 

Anonymous sources, quarterbacks that may or may not have wanted to play, and a disgruntled future Hall-of-Famer sends us to the practice window with plenty to watch. Today, we break down the Week 14 matchup between a playoff-contending team in the Texans, and a team that is struggling to do the simple.

New York Jets vs. Houston Texans

Where: MetLife Stadium

When: Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Kickoff Time: 1:00 pm – ET

How to watch: CBS

Line: Houston -5.5

Three Reasons to Watch

A loss would place the Jets with a top-five pick

Whether people like to admit it or not, the best course of action for the Jets now is to lose the remainder of their games. Whether that means resetting the entire front office above Rodgers or not, acquiring a top-five pick is the most important thing right now. 

Adding a blue-chip offensive talent like Marvin Harrison Jr., Joe Alt, or Olu Fashanu would help New York immensely going into the 2024 season. 

It’s up to Saleh and the rest of the roster to see if they can remain competitive, but not too competitive that they ruin their chances at a high draft pick. With the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, and Chicago Bears all starting to play better, it’s safe to assume that the Jets have a chance to be even in the conversation for a top overall pick. 

In order to do that though, the draft pick must continue to get higher for New York. Tanking is the only way to do it. 

How does the rookie phenom look against vaunted defense?

There hasn’t been any rookie quarterback who has taken the league by storm quite like CJ Stroud has done in Houston. The second-overall pick leads the league in passing yards and has turned around a Texans team filled with dysfunction, to a playoff contender that has gone toe-to-toe with some of the best quarterbacks on the planet. 

Of course, as dominant as Stroud has been, will his success continue against a New York defense that has confounded top quarterbacks all year? Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert have all struggled against the might of Gang Green’s dominant defense. Should that continue for this week, we could very well see just how good Stroud is going to be for the rest of the year.

Jets’ fans may not have much to look forward to, but seeing a young player like this could be a good test next year when Rodgers is back and the two teams are jockeying for playoff position. 

Is Gang Green’s locker room as tight as they say?

In the span of 48 hours we’ve had a WFAN host misquote Jets head coach Robert Saleh, anonymous sources detail why a previously benched quarterback doesn’t want to play on Sunday, and a Hall-0f-Fame quarterback say that the organization needs to be more tight lipped. 

Anyone else tired?

One calling card that Saleh has had over the last few months during the team’s five-game losing streak has been that he has kept the locker room together. Will that still be the case this week and if they drop their sixth straight to a playoff contender on Sunday? Until the coaching staff loses the locker room, it’s safe to assume that they will probably be back for the 2024 season. 

The big question will be how much losing will need to be suffered this year for the group to still be able to stay together? 

X-Factor – Zach Wilson/Starting QB

Zach Wilson Jets
Zach Wilson (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

No one yet knows who is going to be the starting quarterback for the Jets even though the safe bet is that Zach Wilson is going to head back to the starting lineup. Whether he was reluctant to play before or not, it’s clear that Gang Green is out of options at the quarterback position. 

On the season, Wilson has completed just 59% of his passes for 1,900 yards and six touchdowns. The seven interceptions were a microcosm of a New York offense that managed just one offensive touchdown in the final four games of that stretch. 

Should Wilson not get the start and someone like the new Brett Rypien, it won’t change anything. New York’s biggest problem right now is that the quarterback is missing wide-open receivers down the field. Until that starts changing, the Jets’ starting quarterback is going to be the biggest X-factor. Forget any other position, competency is the biggest thing escaping the team right now. 

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