The New York Jets try to rebound from a listless loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 10 days ago when they take on the Seattle Seahawks on the road in Seattle, Washington this week. Both teams have been struggling, and both teams need this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Previewing this matchup, John Gilbert of Field Gulls was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the 2022 Seahawks.
Check out the Q&A below, and be sure to check out DraftKings Sportsbook for all your betting needs this season.
1. The Seahawks started the season going 6-3 and looking like they were headed to the playoffs, but they have since dropped 5 of their last 6 games. What are the major factors that have resulted in the Seahawks’ reversal of fortune?
There have been a whole host of factors that have contributed to the slide, but the biggest has simply been the schedule. It’s a whole lot easier to win games when playing the likes of the Cardinals and Lions than when facing the Bucs, 49ers or Chiefs. That, of course, does nothing to explain the losses to the Raiders or Panthers, but those simply come down to a complete inability to stop the opponent from running the football. Add in a handful of key injuries on both sides of the ball, and it’s come together to create a near perfect storm that has derailed a once-promising season.
2. At this time of year almost every NFL team is dealing with a number of injuries to key personnel. Could you let us know the key injuries the Seahawks are dealing with, which key players are likely to miss the game on Sunday, the backups likely to step in, and the effect the injuries are likely to have on the Seahawks?
The biggest injuries as of right now are likely those that several of the skill position players on offense are dealing with, including Tyler Lockett, Will Dissly and Ken Walker.
Dissly suffered a knee injury against the Chiefs and is on injured reserve, so it will be Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson playing in his place. Both Fant and Parkinson are good pass catchers, but somewhat lacking in the blocking department compared to Dissly, so that injury could play a surprisingly significant role. Walker has been dealing with an ankle issue since the Week 13 win over the Los Angeles Rams, but should be good to play Sunday.
The injury that most bears watching is to Lockett. All season the Seahawks offense has effectively flowed through the tight ends, in that defenses have looked to slow down Lockett and DK Metcalf as much as possible, which has opened things up for the third and fourth receiving options. Early in the season Dissly, Fant and Parkinson filled the role as the third receiving option, with Marquise Goodwin stepping up midseason and producing more than most had anticipated. However, with Dissly on IR, if Lockett is unable to play, that creates an entirely new conundrum for the Seattle offense in that they have to find a viable second receiving threat before worrying about being able to make use of a third receiver.
3. What are the areas on offense and on defense where the Seahawks may have an advantage over the Jets? Which matchups should Jets fans be concerned are likely to go the Seahawks’ way?
I love the Jets corners in D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner, but DK Metcalf is a monster and Shane Waldron has to scheme up ways for Geno Smith to get him the ball, especially if Lockett is unable to play following hand surgery. In addition, Seattle needs to do what it can to get the ball in the hands of its biggest playmakers, and that means also figuring out how to make use of Ken Walker both on the ground and through the air.
When the Jets are on offense, their ability to attack the Seahawks with the run game could go a long way towards determining the outcome of this game. Seattle has struggled to stop the rushing attack in recent weeks, and if that doesn’t change, it could be a long day for Hawks fans.
4. What is the best way to successfully attack the Seahawks on offense and on defense?
On defense, the last half dozen opponents have followed the game plan laid out by the Bucs in Week 10, and that is to attack on the ground in order to keep the Hawks in base personnel. Then, when favorable matchups appear in coverage, be able to take advantage of those matchups. The quarterbacks Seattle has faced in recent weeks in Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Derek Carr have been able to do this, and if Mike White is able to do the same, it could be a long day for the Hawks.
On offense, the way to derail the offense is through disruption in the trenches. The bookend rookie tackles have received a lot of praise for their play this season, and for rookies they have played very well. However, they’re rookies and offensive line is a difficult position to play in the NFL and takes several years to learn, and they have struggled some in recent weeks. Add to that the struggles of the interior offensive line at times, and it’s a group that has lacked consistency. What that means is that if a team can slow or stop the Seattle ground attack, it puts the young line in a position to have to pass block on third and long, and Geno Smith has a sack rate of 18.9% on 3rd & 5 or more this season, in large part due to the youth and inexperience of the offensive line.
5. According to DraftKings Sportsbook this game is pretty close. The spread has bounced around a little bit this week, but as I write this the Jets are favored by 2 points. That seems to me a little too favorable for a Jets team on the road in Seattle. Why do you think the Jets are favored, and if you were a betting person, which team would you bet on to emerge with a victory on Sunday and why?
It seems as though when I bet on the Seahawks, they lose, and when I bet against them they win, so I’m tempted to bet against them just for superstitious reasons.
In reality, between the loss of Dissly and the potential of Lockett to not play, the Hawks could have a hard time coming by points in this game, so being two point underdogs feels kind of generous. My guess is the Jets win in a low scoring affair where both teams are playing it safe and waiting for the other team to make the first big mistake.