For the New York Jets to complete step one in the final two weeks to enter postseason play, a successful ground attack will be key.
Heading to Seattle, statistically, as a unit defensively, the Seahawks rank 29th overall. Their poor execution is highlighted particularly by their poor run defense.
On the other hand, however, the Jets rushing attack has been bad over the last two games. They have totaled 116 yards (58 per game) on the ground, averaging a poor 2.8 yards per carry. It has significantly impacted how they have ranked, as they are now 24th in the NFL in rushing.
A part of that lack of recent success certainly has to do with teams stacking the box, looking to take the run away as Zach Wilson was under center. Now though, with the return of Mike White, hopefully, defenses have to play more honest, keeping things balanced and ultimately allowing running lanes for Michael Carter, Bam Knight, and Ty Johnson.
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New York Jets’ ground game needs to be efficient against the Seahawks’ run defense:
The Seahawks run defense enters this matchup as the 31st-ranked unit in football, allowing an average of 155.5 yards per game. They are tied for 25th with three teams when it comes to average yards per carry allowed of 4.9.
Defensively, against the run, the Seahawks have given up 119 first downs (eight per game). That amount ranks 28th in football. For reference, the Jets’ ground game, over the last two weeks, has had just four first downs amassed on the ground. Things have got to be much better to win this week.
The Seahawks’ defense has allowed 20 rushing touchdowns (1.3 per game), which places them 29th in the NFL. Their pass defense is in the middle of the pack (17th). In conclusion, though, with their awful stats against the run it leads to their scoring defense ranking 29th in the league, giving up 25.3 points per game.
One thing the Seahawks’ defensive unit does do well is take the football away. Particularly forcing fumbles. They have accumulated 10 fumbles as a defense this year, which is tied for fourth in the NFL. The Jets do rank average (tied for 15th) in fumbles lost, with eight this year. Ball security will be key for the Jets running backs in this one.
The opportunity is undoubtedly there for the Jets’ rushing attack to start picking things up this week. Much plays to their favor going into this game.
Having a mini-bye after playing last Thursday allows them to physically be fresh and establish the battle in the trenches. With White returning at quarterback, ideally, the Seahawks have to play the pass more than what the Jets have seen from their recent opponents, making life easier on Carter, Knight, and Johnson. Lastly, the Seahawks’ run defense has been so abysmal that there are no excuses for the Jets to not put together a quality performance.