Despite being officially eliminated from playoff contention, the Jets will be looking to finish the season strong. This week, the Los Angeles Chargers make their way to MetLife Stadium in what will be the Jets final home game of 2017.
In his first start of the season, Jets’ quarterback Bryce Petty was less than stellar. He seemed jittery on the field with some poor footwork and off-target passes, but the Jets will continue to roll with him. In the loss to the Saints last week, Petty completed just 19 of 39 passes for 179 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown.
Now back on home turf, Petty will look to rebound, however there is no guarantee he will find success. In three career home starts, Petty is 0-3 with a 53.7 percent completion percentage with three touchdowns and five interceptions. A home win would likely be a pleasant Christmas gift for the struggling third year quarterback.
The Young Guns
The Jets have 10 rookies and 18 players with fewer than three-years of experience. These last two games will be more about their development than anything.
Look for Gang Green to increase snap counts for players such as Chad Hansen, ArDarius Stewart, Darryl Roberts and Elijah McGuire. While the veterans will still see the field, the Jets will be more focused on giving the younger guys some more game experience. This could be crucial for the team going forward.
Vying for a potential playoff spot, the Chargers won’t be taking it easy against the lowly Jets. Just outside of the Wild Card, the Bolts will likely need to win their final two games and hope for a few other scenarios.
That won’t be the only thing they’re playing for on Sunday, however. Quarterback Philip Rivers is only three completions away from reaching 4,124 in his career, which would surpass Hall-of-Famer John Elway for eighth in NFL history.
Rivers also is only 162 passing yards short of 4,000 for the season. If he’s able to hit that mark against the Jets, he would be the fourth quarterback to hit 4,000 passing yards in a single season at least nine times. Rivers would join Peyton Manning (14), Drew Brees (11) and Tom Brady (nine) as the others (via NewsDay).
The Bolts will Strike
While many eyes will be on Petty and how he performs under pressure, most of the game will likely fall on the Jets defense. This Sunday they will be going up against the league’s seventh-best offense and third-best passing offense. Rivers also has a 93.8 quarterback rating with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season.
Basically, it could be a long day for the Jets secondary.
This game could get messy awfully quickly for the Jets, but hard play by the team has not been questioned all too much this year. I expect them to come out confident and poised for an upset. And if when/if it does start looking ugly, I don’t expect them to let up.
- Another interception by the defensive line. On the year, the Jets have three of those (Kony Ealy-1, Leonard Williams-1, Muhammad Wilkerson-1). As mentioned before, the game will likely fall into the hands of the defense, so I expect them to bring all their pressure this Sunday.
- Jamal Adams gets his first INT. He’s almost had it on multiple occasions, but I think this week is the week. By heavily relying on the play of their young products, I think Adams will step up even higher into the leadership position this game. The Jets also have the third-most takeaways in the red zone this season with four. With Rivers and company likely seeing that part of the field plenty on Sunday, I think Adams comes up big.
- 4+ sacks for LA. The Jets O-Line has been pitifull all year. The Chargers have a great pass rush, and I think they get to Petty a lot on Sunday. It’s also an interesting note that the Chargers franchise high for sacks in a game is 11, which came against Gang Green back in 2012. In all seriousness, pray for Petty.