One could very well say that the playoffs for the 2022 New York Jets essentially begin today. The 7-6 Jets are only guaranteed four more games, but in all likelihood put themselves in the playoffs should they win out.
The Jets are going up against one of the hottest teams in the NFL at the moment, the Detroit Lions. They enter this one as winners of five of their last six. The Lions are a tough, physical football team who will provide the Jets with loads of challenges today.
In the key team category department, the Jets did show tons of progress on third down both offensively and defensively a week ago. That will need to continue today. The obvious situational key for the Jets will be better red zone efficiency on both sides of the football, finishing drives the right way. Lastly, the Jets have lost the turnover battle a combined 4-0 in the last two games (2-0 in each game) and both happened to be losses. Situationally, the Jets have got to execute better as a team today to win.
New York Jets vs Detroit Lions Preview:
Starting offensively, the shocking news broke early Friday that Mike White was not cleared for contact, making him unavailable for this game. In turn, Zach Wilson gets a huge opportunity to re-prove himself. For Wilson, relying on Zonovan “Bam” Knight, Garrett Wilson, and Elijah Moore, being an accurate distributor is all that is needed from the 23-year-old signal-caller.
The great thing for Wilson, is that the Lions’ defense ranks as dreadfully as possible across the board. They rank last overall, allowing 403.2 yards per game. Their pass defense is 30th (263.4 yards per game). The Lions’ run defense ranks 26th (139.8 yards per game). When it comes to scoring, they are 31st, giving up 26.7 points per game.
Simply put, there are no excuses for Wilson.
The Knight-led ground game should have a fourth-consecutive productive day, making Wilson’s life easier.
For the Jets’ offense, at least 24 points, roughly, should be scored in this game to ensure a win.
On the defensive side of the football, unfortunately, it seems unlikely Quinnen Williams will play. Going up against a terrific Lions offensive line, the rest of the defensive linemen of the Jets have got to step up.
When it comes to their offense overall, scoring, running, and passing, the Lions rank in at least the top 11 of every category. The Jets’ third-ranked defense will have their work cut out for themselves today.
It will start with stopping the run. Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift are one of the best one-two punches at running back in football. From there, the Jets’ rush and coverage will have to work in sync to limit the Lions explosive offense. Getting to Jared Goff, without Williams is where it all starts. On the perimeter, there are some fun matchups between the Lions’ group of wide receivers and the Jets’ top-tier cornerback trio.
In the end, this will without a doubt be a tough game for the Jets. At home with everything at stake though, they need to win and snap this two-game losing streak. As stated above, the Jets’ offense needs to and should score 24-27 points which, with the Jets’ defense should be just enough. This will be a highly-competitive, one-possession game late into the fourth quarter that the Jets find a way to win, and improve to 8-6.