By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Sitting at an uncomfortable 3-5 record coming off a bye week, the Jets have entered a period of desperation they have not experienced in the Ryan era since the 2009 season in which the team was 4-6 through 10 games.
This week, things hardly get easier as the Jets try to get a win in the toughest venue to play in the NFL. Seattle, despite starting a rookie quarterback has positioned themselves nicely to compete for a spot in the playoffs.
Here are five matchups to watch in Week 10:
Earl Thomas/Kam Chancellor vs. Dustin Keller
Dustin Keller has looked like his old self in recent weeks and is arguably the Jets’ top passing option. He has been able to take advantage of average safety play in Miami and New England, but Seattle boasts two top-end safeties to shore up their back end.
Earl Thomas, a former first-round pick in 2010, is as instinctive as they come as a free safety. Chancellor, who was selected later on in the same draft out of Virginia Tech, is the largest safety in the league who can run like a corner and hit like a linebacker.
Keller is going to have his work cut out for him when he tries to get open against these two safeties, especially if other receivers are not getting open and drawing coverage.
Antonio Cromartie vs. Sidney Rice
The Seahawks offense is not a “sustaining” offense, at least through the passing game. Their passing game is based on “shot” plays that come off play-action that take advantage of their run game and Russel Wilson’s exceptional deep accuracy.
Rice has been their top deep threat, and Cromartie is going to have to take him out of the game on his own.
However, LaRon Landry, who is known for biting on play-action, must maintain discipline and not allow receivers to beat him deep.
Chris Clemons vs. D’Brickashaw Ferguson
The Jets receivers are going to have a tough time getting open against Seattle’s exceptional secondary, so Sanchez is going to need as much time as possible in the pocket. If the Jets have to keep extra blockers in the game, it only handcuffs the Jets’ offense further.
Clemons is one of the more underrated pass-rushers in the game, and Ferguson will have his hands full.
Jets’ Front 7 vs. Marshawn Lynch
This could easily be the matchup that decides that game. Lynch is one of, if not the best runner after contact in the NFL, and the Jets tackling has taken a nosedive this season.
Lynch is the foundation of Seattle’s offense, and the Jets cannot allow the Seahawks to dictate the pace of the game with Lynch running over arm tackles. Technique is of the up-most importance in this matchup.
Matt Slauson/Vladimir Ducasse vs. Brandon Mebane
The Jets are not going to be able to sit back and throw the ball 50 times against Seattle’s secondary/pass-rush combination. Finding balance in the run game, where Seattle has fallen off in recent weeks on defense, is key.
Brandon Mebane is the Seahawks’ top run defender, and whoever is it guard – whether its Slauson or Ducasse – cannot let him shut down the Jets’ rushing attack on his own.