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By: Billy Riccette
The playoffs basically start tonight for the New York Jets. A loss doesn’t completely eliminate them, but it will put them pretty close.
Thursday does not bring an easy task for the Jets. The Jaguars have been playing some really good football of late and now all of a sudden control their playoff destiny. The Jets hope to have that fate after this weekend, which they can if they win and they get help in the form of a Patriots loss Saturday against the Bengals.
First things first, the Jets have to take care of business against the Jaguars. How do they do that? Well, having Quinnen Williams back is a huge plus because the key right now is stopping Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has starting playing like the No. 1 pick we always expected him to play as. Things are finally clicking for him, but the Jets provide a tough challenge for Lawrence. Especially when you consider offensive tackle Cam Robinson is out with a knee injury, so it’ll be Walker Little starting in his place.
Another key injury for the Jaguars is 2022 No. 1 pick Travon Walker, who is out with an ankle injury. Walker has been somewhat quiet as a rookie, but it’s still a key loss for Jacksonville.
Pro Bowl cornerback Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed have another pair of good wide receivers to go up against. Christian Kirk and Zay Jones have provided Lawrence with a solid pair of weapons this season. Jones had three touchdowns in Jacksonville‘s big win over the Cowboys on Sunday.
But it all depends on the play of the quarterback taken after Lawrence, Zach Wilson. And if there is a matchup for him to exploit, it’s this one. Jacksonville has allowed the fourth-most passing yards and are tied for the fifth-most passing touchdowns allowed this season. With Mike White breathing down his neck, and with the Jets still in the playoff hunt, the stakes have never been higher.
You may also see some package plays with Chris Streveler, who is active for the first time this season. It will be interesting to see how the Jets use him tonight.
This is a big one for the Jets. Will the weather be a factor? We’ll see. But it does feel like the Jets will fall short of keeping up with the Jaguars on offense and the end of the road may soon be near.
Prediction: Jaguars 24, Jets 17
Originally posted on Jets Wire