Date: 30/12/2022
Author: Callum Insull


After the Thursday Night Football loss to Jacksonville, many would have thought that the New York Jets had run out of lives in their bid to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season, but as luck would have it, the Christmas weekend gave the Jets a whole host of gifts.


With the New England Patriots losing to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins losing narrowly to the Green Bay Packers, all the Jets need to do now is win their remaining two games and hope the Patriots lose at least one of theirs – still a tall order but Robert Saleh’s men have been gifted another life.


Not only did two of the Jets’ playoff rivals lose, but the team received the news on Monday that quarterback Mike White had been cleared by doctors to return to the line-up to face Seattle this weekend.


The return of White has given the Jets a sense of belief, especially from the fanbase that they can still do things with the 2022 season and that all is not lost. Things took a bad turn after the 19-3 defeat to the Jaguars and the happy ending to the season seemed a way off but now things are more than back on.


It has been clear to see that the offence seems a lot more in rhythm when White’s under centre and it gives the side a lift, a lift it seems they haven’t had since his departure due to injury after the week 14 loss to Buffalo.


As the team gets on the training field ahead of Sunday’s game on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, there are a few storylines surrounding the game, as well as that of the Jets’ playoff ambitions hanging by a thread once more.


Former Jets quarterback Geno Smith is Seattle’s poster boy now Russell Wilson plays his football in Denver, so he, and former defensive coordinator of the Jets, Pete Carroll will be looking for a slight dose of revenge perhaps. 

Similarly to the Jets, the Seahawks started off well this season and have slowed down towards the end but they themselves are in the hunt for an NFC playoff berth, with the Jets hoping for the same in the AFC.


One other storyline to look at are the rookies on the field. There is going to be a whole host of NFL newbies on display at Lumen Field on New Year’s Day. Both sides have a case for who had the best 2022 draft class. The Jets came out of it with the likes of Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson and Breece Hall, while Seattle boasts the talent of Charles Cross, Kenneth Walker III, Coby Bryant, and Tariq Woolen. With all but one of the names being in contention to play the week 17 matchup.


So, it’ll be a cornerback showdown between Gardner and Woolen. Who will do a better job of holding off some quality receivers including Garrett Wilson for the Jets and DK Metcalf of the Seahawks. The eventual Defensive Rookie of the Year could well be in the game on Sunday.


It is going to be a brilliant game, but it is one the Jets must win. Of course, every game is a must win and it gets said each week but this matchup in Seattle is crucial. The Jets win, even with a New England win against Miami, keeps the green and white alive for a further week. It hasn’t been for the want of trying in all fairness, the Jets defence did all they could against Jacksonville, only allowing 19 points but it was once again the offence they couldn’t get going. With White back, that all changes.


Seattle has a weak defence when it comes to points allowed, they sit 26th in the NFL on that front, so the Jets will need to give Carroll’s side all they’ve got in their bid to get to 0.500 and 8-8 on the season, and one step closer to a potential playoff appearance.


It won’t be an easy task, but a win over the Seahawks will give the team all the confidence they need to go to the Hard Rock Stadium on 8 January to get back-to-back wins for the first time since week seven. In an ideal world, along with a win out west, Miami can beat Bill Belichick’s Patriots to leave just a New York win over the Dolphins standing in the way of the Jets and the postseason. 

If New England wins this weekend with a NYJ win also, it goes down to that final week where AFC East champions Buffalo would have to help the Jets out by beating New England.


So many scenarios and so much to look forward to and even with just two weeks left, there is still so much football to be played. These are the moments we live for and now is the time to get behind the team. White is back, the Jets chances are back and it’s all going to be on the line at Lumen Field this Sunday.


Let’s go Jets!