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Previewing the Jets’ Opposition: Seattle Seahawks

The Jets travel to the Pacific Northwest trying to keep their Playoff hopes alive.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Jets and Seahawks began the season 6-3, but have lost five of the last six and now have their playoff hopes hanging by a thread. They are two very different teams though, as the Jets have been propped up by their defense while Seattle has a top-ten offense. The Jets haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2004 but will need to on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Jets are 2 point road favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook.


Having beaten out Drew Lock to win the job in training camp, Geno Smith has shocked everyone by making it to his first pro bowl. Smith leads the league in completion percentage and has posted four 300-yard games. He would surely love to get a win to eliminate his old team.

However, his production has dropped off a little over the last month. He only had four interceptions at the bye, but has five in five games since then.

Lock is still the backup but hasn’t thrown a pass all season.

Offensive Line

The Seahawks, for whom current Jet Duane Brown went to the pro bowl last year, drafted Charles Cross in the first round and Abraham Lucas in the third round to be their new starting tackles.

Lucas, who starts on the right, has given up a team high nine sacks. Cross hasn’t given up as many sacks as Lucas but he’s in the top-10 in the NFL for pressures allowed. Lucas missed practice during the week due to a knee injury and has been listed as questionable.

At center, Seattle signed Austin Blythe in March and he’s started every game. Blythe has struggled in the running game but done well in pass protection.

The starting guards are the same as last year with Damien Lewis on the left and Gabe Jackson on the right. However, Jackson has been employed in a rotation with Phil Haynes most of the year. Lewis is perhaps the team’s most consistent run blocker.

Aside from Haynes, the other three backups currently on the roster have all played less than 50 snaps this year. Kyle Fuller is the backup center while Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe play tackle. Forsythe had to fill in for Lucas when he got hurt in last week’s game.

Running Backs

Kenneth Walker is Seattle’s leading rusher, with over 800 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He was in a bit of a slump over the last month but broke out of that with a 100-yard game in Seattle’s most recent game against the Chiefs.

Since Rashaad Penny went onto injured reserve, DeeJay Dallas has been the main backup, with Travis Homer also seeing action. Dallas caught six passes against the Chiefs.

Homer and Walker both missed practice time this week with an ankle injury and are each listed as questionable.

Seattle also recently signed Godwin Igwebuike to bolster this group, although he’s only played on special teams so far. Fullback Nick Bellore is also primarily a special teamer.

Pass catchers

Seattle’s receiver group is led by DK Metcalf, who went over a thousand yards for the season in last week’s game. His size and physicality should make for an exciting matchup with Jets rookie Sauce Gardner. Metcalf can be too physical at times, though. He has a team-high eight offensive penalties, including four for offensive pass interference.

Tyler Lockett, who is the team’s most productive player out of the slot, was also well on his way to a thousand-yard season until he broke his hand in week 15. However, following surgery, he looks set to make an incredible comeback having missed just one game.

The third receiver all year has been Marquise Goodwin, who has 27 catches, but he was placed on injured reserve on Saturday.

Seattle will therefore need someone else to step up, especially if Lockett is also limited or unavailable. Laquon Treadwell is the most likely candidate. He had three catches on Sunday, having just been added to the roster a few weeks ago. Penny Hart and seventh-round rookie Dareke Young are also available as potential cover and Cade Johnson has been elevated from the practice squad.

At tight end, Seattle just lost their backup Will Dissly for the rest of the season. He’s had a productive season with 34 catches but Colby Parkinson has 18 catches off the bench so he could step up. They also elevated Tyler Mabry from the practice squad for this game. The starter is Noah Fant, who has 44 catches and four touchdowns.

Defensive Line

The Seahawks, who play a 3-4 system, have a solid group of veterans as their starting defensive line unit, although they have the third-worst run defense in the league. Poona Ford and Shelby Harris are the ends and Al Woods is the nose tackle. Woods missed the last couple of games due to injury and missed some practice time during the week, though. He’s listed as questionable.

On the bench, Quinton Jefferson has been a productive reserve with four sacks. Isaiah Mack was just claimed off waivers to add depth along with Myles Adams and LJ Collier. Bryan Mone, who made some starts earlier in the year, is on injured reserve.


Seattle’s best pass rusher is Uchenna Nwosu, who leads the team with nine sacks. He starts across from the 35-year old Bruce Irvin, who re-joined the team in October. Darrell Taylor has also been productive with six sacks off the bench.

At inside linebacker, former first round pick Jordyn Brooks is second in the league in tackles, but does struggle in coverage. Cody Barton has filled up the stat sheet alongside him with 123 tackles, five pass breakups, two sacks and two interceptions.

Second round rookie Boye Mafe provides depth on the edge but hasn’t had much of an impact yet. Jon Rhattigan is yet to play. Tanner Muse is the main reserve on the inside with Bellore always available to fill in if there’s an emergency. However, they also just signed undrafted rookie Vi Jones to the main roster.

Defensive Backs

Cornerback Tariq Woolen has been making headlines this year, as - much like Gardner - he will head to the pro bowl after an excellent rookie season. Woolen has six interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He’s not been perfect though as he’s given up five touchdown passes and been called for eight penalties.

The other starter is Mike Jackson, who doesn’t have an interception but has broken up 10 passes.

The main slot cornerback is Coby Bryant, who was drafted in the fourth round. He has a knack for forcing fumbles, with four on the year.

Safety Quandre Diggs is also headed to the pro bowl and Ryan Neal has done a solid job alongside him with Jamal Adams and Josh Jones both on injured reserve. Neal missed the last game due to injury though, so Teez Tabor had to step in with recent pick-up Jonathan Abram also seeing action. For Sunday’s game, Neal - who didn’t practice all week - is listed as questionable.

The rest of the reserves haven’t played much. Justin Coleman played 51 snaps in the opener but has only been used on special teams since. Tre Brown, Artie Burns, and Xavier Crawford have only played 35 defensive snaps between them.

Special Teams

On special teams, the Seahawks’ kicker Jason Myers is going to the pro bowl and their punter Michael Dickson is an alternate. Bellore has also been named as an alternate.

Myers has only missed two kicks all season although he hasn’t had any chances to decide any games this year. Dickson, a former all-pro, is having his best season statistically but did fumble in the end zone, leading to a touchdown in one game.

In the return game, Dallas was handling both punts and kickoffs, but Igwebuike took over on kickoffs a few weeks ago and immediately broke a 50-yard return in his first game. Lockett and Walker are available in reserve.

Seattle also scored a special teams touchdown earlier this year when Woolen blocked a field goal and Jackson returned it 85 yards.

Aside from Bellore, Homer, Muse and Dallas are their most productive players in kick coverage.

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