The New York Jets are gearing up for another primetime game in Week 9 as they are set to host the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football. The Jets came from behind to defeat the New York Giants 13-10 in overtime in Week 8 to improve to 4-3 on the season.
On the other hand, the Chargers snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Bears 30-13 on Sunday Night Football in Week 8. Los Angeles is a 3-4 team that has an up-and-coming star quarterback in Justin Herbert leading its offense.
Ahead of Monday night’s matchup versus the Chargers, here are six players to watch from the Jets.
QB Zach Wilson
It was a forgettable performance from Zach Wilson in last week’s overtime win over the Giants. The third-year quarterback completed 17 of his 36 attempts for 240 yards and one touchdown, while he lost two fumbles.
Outside of a 50-yard touchdown pass to Breece Hall where the dynamic back did nearly all of the work, Wilson was inefficient and made costly mistakes under center. If the Jets have any hope of improving to 5-3 and becoming a playoff team, Wilson needs to play better against the Chargers on Monday night.
RB Breece Hall
If it isn’t Hall touching the ball for the Jets on offense, there’s a good chance Garrett Wilson has the ball in his hands. The stud wideout logged seven receptions for 100 yards on a team-high 13 targets in Week 8, with Hall and Wilson accounting for 73.3 percent of New York’s passing yards in the win.
In the last two weeks, Wilson has combined for 15 catches and 190 receiving yards on 25 targets. The Jets need to continue keeping Wilson involved heavily in the aerial attack as the Chargers are 26th in pass defense DVOA.
DE Jermaine Johnson
There has been plenty of growth shown from Jermaine Johnson this season, and he had one of the best pass-rushing games of his career against the Giants last week. The second-year edge rusher registered six combined tackles, four quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, and two sacks in the victory.
Entering Week 9, Johnson now has six tackles for loss, four sacks, and a forced fumble. The Jets need to generate consistent pressure on Herbert on Monday night, and a lot of that begins with Johnson, Bryce Huff, and John Franklin-Myers off of the edge.
One of the players the Jets will look to slow down in Week 9 is Austin Ekeler. Ekeler is one of the best dual-threat backs in the NFL as he is coming off a game in which he recorded seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
The Jets have surprisingly allowed the sixth-most receptions and the sixth-most receiving yards to running backs this season. While the entire defense will need to do their part in containing Ekeler, Quincy Williams will likely be tasked with spying on the do-it-all back. Williams is tied for the team lead in tackles (71), and he’ll need to use his sideline-to-sideline ability on Monday night.
CB Michael Carter II
Besides Ekeler, the other talented player the Jets have to key in on is Keenan Allen. With Mike Williams out for the rest of the season, the Chargers are leaning on Allen even more in the passing game as he has 54 catches, 643 yards, and four touchdowns this season.
Allen does most of his damage out of the slot, so Michael Carter II will be matched up on the productive wideout often in Week 9. Carter has 27 combined tackles and two pass breakups in seven games this season.