Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Jets' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Seattle Seahawks.
Earlier this season, the Jets suffered back-to-back defeats at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans.
Both of those teams play a style of football that the Jets like to call their own. The offense controls the ball by mauling opponents on the ground, the quarterback makes throws against a defense guarding against the run and the defense batters the opposition whenever they have the ball.
That was the Jets team that made two straight AFC Championship Game appearances. It is not the current Jets team.
They don't run the ball consistently, their quarterback fails to make the throws he needs to make and the defense has been uncharacteristically leaky. Now they get a third look at a team playing and winning the way the Jets promised they would play and win.
Seattle has a 5-4 record this year and they've gotten there with as simple a mix as possible in today's NFL. Heavy doses of Marshawn Lynch and a steely defense in order to lessen the burden on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
That makes for a lot of close games, which winds up putting pressure on Wilson anyway and the Seahawks have learned that he can handle it. Wilson's done good work in the big moments of games by making plays that are there to be made and avoiding risks that are going to hurt the team.
Jets games once played out like that, back when Mark Sanchez was a pup, but things haven't blossomed as anyone would have hoped. Given Wilson's mixed bag, the Seahawks run that risk as well.
For now, though, they are following the blueprint to a winning season. Here's a few of the ways that the Seahawks will try to remain on the right side of .500 this weekend.
The Skittle King: Marshawn Lynch is responsible for the addition of Beast Mode to the national lexicon and he's the best thing to happen to Skittles since the rainbow, all of which just adds to the fun of watching him pound the ball down the throats of opposing defenses. Lynch runs like his life depends on each and every step, a kind of urgency that the Jets could use on their side.
Young Defensive Blood: Since Pete Carroll took over as coach in 2010, the Seahawks have drafted 18 defensive players to restock a depleted unit. Safety Earl Thomas is a star, rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner could be defensive rookie of the year and rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin is making Carroll look smart for rolling the dice on him in spite of character issues.
No Repeat for Pete: Carroll was the Jets' coach way back when and it seemed for the longest time like the Jets made one of their rare wise decisions when they let him walk. Had he stayed at USC, it would still feel like that but the feeling will change dramatically if he makes the Seahawks a winner.
The 12th Man: If this game were in the Meadowlands, you could point to Wilson's poor play on the road as reason to believe the Jets could get off to the right start in the second half. The Seahawks don't lose at home, though, and the loudest crowd in the league is a big reason for their success on their home field.
Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Giants' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Dallas Cowboys.