NEW YORK JETS PREPARE TO ENTER CRUCIAL FOUR-GAME STRETCH
Author: Callum Insull
With just four regular season games remaining for the New York Jets, the race for the playoffs is hotting up as Robert Saleh’s men are in a battle with three other teams for two AFC wildcard spots.
After losing two in a row to Minnesota and Buffalo respectively, the Jets find themselves as the 9th seed and two places outside playoff contention. With both the LA Chargers and New England Patriots winning, the Jets’ upcoming game against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium this Sunday becomes a must-win.
Last weekend, the Jets came unstuck in another narrow defeat, this time to the Buffalo Bills losing 20-12. NYJ had to overcome a terrific amount of adversity in the game and ultimately fell short but it wasn’t for want of trying.
Mike White continued to impress under centre, despite being taken off the field for a lengthy period due to injury. The defence stepped up even after lead sack getter Quinnen Williams also left the field with an injury.
It isn’t in their hands now but for the Jets, it’s all about winning. Win and the rest will look after itself – and in their quest to reach the playoffs, that starts on Sunday.
In come the Detroit Lions to town. The Michigan-based team, coached by Dan Campbell, have been on a good run of form winning their last four games to rise to 6-7 and be the 9th seed in the NFC. So, like the Jets, they have a good shot at the playoffs. Both teams will be hoping to get the win but for the Jets, getting an eighth win of the season over the Lions won’t just be a standard victory.
The win will propel them back into playoff contention if the Patriots and Miami Dolphins lose to the Las Vegas Raiders and the Bills respectively, it will also show the fight and spirit that has been apparent all season long.
After the home game against Detroit, on a short week the Jets face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Thursday Night Football matchup. Then it’s road trips to Seattle and Miami.
All these games will be tough, but the Jets will have the motivation to win as a place in the play-offs is on the line and still in their sights.
Focusing in on just the next game, as it is a week-to-week sport, the Jets will hope they can get back to winning ways, even if the Lions are on red hot form.
To get back in the winner’s circle, NYJ will need help from their superb rookies, who have been nothing short of exceptional this season. Offensively, Garrett Wilson and emerging running back Zonovan ‘Bam’ Knight will look to do their bit, as will cornerback Sauce Gardner, who is on course for a call to the Pro Bowl in his first season as an NFL player.
Since the game at home to Chicago, where Knight was first given his shot, the undrafted rookie has been brilliant and certainly helped to fill the void left by shining star, also rookie running back, Breece Hall.
He scored his first professional touchdown last Sunday in the loss to the Bills and with a nomination for the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week belt, Knight is showing no signs of slowing down. The Jets will need him and Mike Carter out of the backfield to roll on Sunday against a determined Detroit.
With the four games remaining, a lot of Jet fans would hope their side can get at least three wins from the four, if not them all but regardless of whether the team makes the playoffs, hands down it has been a great season in parts. Doubling the wins from 2021 and then some, the team from the Big Apple have certainly exceeded expectations and if it wasn’t for a slight dip in form, would be high up in the AFC playoff seeding now.
The fight is on to make it to the postseason, but all is not lost if that doesn’t happen in 2022. Sunday at MetLife, or at home via Sky Sports or TalkSport 2 is the place to be to watch the Jets in action as they look to kickstart the final four games of the season in strong fashion.
Let’s go Jets!>