The Seattle Seahawks are making their final stand of the season. With a 7-8 record, Seattle’s playoff hopes are slim… but not non-existent. They will end the year with two final games at home against tough but beatable opponents. Win these two, and they have a chance to return to the postseason. First on the docket is the New York Jets.
In many ways, the Jets have been the AFC’s version of the Seahawks. A team that finished in last place in their division a year ago started the 2022 campaign surprisingly strong. Both the Seahawks and the Jets cruised their way to a 6-3 record, making the case they would be playoff contenders. However, both teams have cratered a bit in the second half of the year, each losing five of their last six games.
For Seattle and New York, the problems have been polar opposites. Seattle’s defensive collapse has been costing them wins left and right. Meanwhile, New York’s defense has remained strong. The issue has been an anemic offense led by second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, who has made the case for being one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory.
However, the Seahawks will not be fortunate enough to play against Wilson. Instead they will play backup-turned-starter Mike White at quarterback, who is returning from injury. With White under center, the Jets offense has life and can be quite frisky. Seattle’s defense has turned it around in the last two weeks, playing reasonably well against the likes of San Francisco and Kansas City, so there’s reason for optimism they can keep the Jets in check.
The real challenge will be if Seattle’s offense can move against head coach Robert Salah’s defense. Geno Smith and Co. have struggled mightily in the last three games, finding it hard to get into any sense of a rhythm, and when they do, it’s been far too late in the game. If the Seahawks offense can get back to the efficient machine they were early in the season they have a chance.
Both the Jets and Seahawks are struggling, but the vibes around these teams feel different. For New York, a sense of frustration as a potential playoff team has been undone by a quarterback they felt was the franchise’s savior. For Seattle, optimism they can still right the ship. I trust a desperate Pete Carroll team to find a way to grind out a low scoring win.
Prediction: Seahawks over Jets 20-17.