Thursday Night Football, Week 16. Tonight the New York Jets try to stop the bleeding and end a three game losing streak that has jeopardized their chances at a playoff spot when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets are 2.5 point home favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
The 6-8 Jacksonville Jaguars come into this game in 2nd place in the AFC South, one game back of the division leading Tennessee Titans. The Jaguars looked dead in the water at the end of October when a five game losing streak had them at 2-6 on the season. Since then the Jaguars have done a nice job getting back into the AFC South race, winning four of their last six games. One of the primary reasons for the Jaguars’ resurgence has been the improved play of 2nd year quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence has suddenly looked the part of a franchise quarterback after getting off to a very rough start to his NFL career. Tonight the foul weather and the Jets’ excellent defense pose dual challenges for Lawrence and the Jaguars.
The 7-7 New York Jets come into this game reeling, losers of three straight and five of their last seven games. As has been the case for most of the history of this franchise, the quarterback position has been a sore spot. The Jets have started three different quarterbacks this season, and none have done particularly well. Second year quarterback Zach Wilson started the season injured, regained his starting job from Joe Flacco after three games, lost his starting job to Mike White after ineffective performances, and regained his starting job again after White injured his ribs. No matter who has been under center for the Jets the offense has struggled, while the defense has been superb. That has resulted in a series of close games. The Jets have lost by a touchdown or less in each of their last five losses.
The Jets, like the Jaguars, desperately need a victory tonight to keep pace in the AFC playoff race. With a big storm brewing, the conditions will be downright nasty at MetLife Stadium. We’ll see which team manages to deal with the weather and the pressure better tonight.
The Jets have won 3 of the last 5 games between these two teams. I expect the Jets to add to that tonight. I think the Jets’ pass defense would have created a big challenge for Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars in good weather. In the rain and wind expected for tonight’s game, the Jacksonville advantage at quarterback will be mitigated. This game may boil down to which team makes the least mistakes in ugly weather. Will that be the Jets? Who knows? I’ll take the Jets, without much conviction, because they are at home in what I view as a tossup. I have submitted my pick using the widget from our partners at Tallysight. You can follow all my picks throughout the season, as I prove for another season how I’m not made to be a gambler. Seriously, I cannot stress enough how bad an idea it would be to bet real money based on my picks. Don’t do it. Don’t even consider it. Make your own picks, and good luck. And if you do bet, consider using our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.