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Know Your Foe: New York Jets | Week 14


This wasn't the season the Jets fans wanted…or deserved, quite frankly. The 2023 offseason gave Jets more hope than they've had in years, a decade or more even. Since Mark Sanchez ran into his own lineman's butt on Thanksgiving night in 2012, the Jets sniffed the playoffs just once in 2015, but never made it. Consequently, the signing of QB Aaron Rodgers buoyed Jets' fans spirits from the day he signed, through the Hard Knocks Training Camp and on into week one against Buffalo.

Three plays in, the Jets' Hope Balloon went POP.

Rodgers went down to an Achilles injury and the magnificent Jets defense hasn't been able to completely overcome the Jets' offensive deficiencies without Rodgers under center. Now, the Jets defense does all it can, but there's just only so much help it can provide. The QB quandary came to a head on Wednesday when the Jets released Tim Boyle, who started the past two weeks and generated just one offensive TD in two games. The defense was responsible for eight of the Jets 21 points over the last two games. Furthermore, the Jets offense has just 11 offensive touchdowns this season.

Now, the starting QB button flips right back to 2021 #2 overall pick Zach Wilson. As Jets head coach Robert Saleh noted on Wednesday, Wilson is "fired up", even though the rumors coming out of 1 Jets Drive this week didn't tell that story. Either way, Wilson is dangerous, carrying a "what's left to lose?" mindset into this game.

And, AND that Jets defense? Whoa, nasty, NASTY unit that has carried the Jets for the second straight season under Saleh and DC Jeff Ullbrich's leadership. They hit. They hunt. They even score. 

Even though the Jets are 4-8, this game has me worried. We traveled up to Met Life five years ago to face the 4-9 Jets and they gave us all we could handle in a 29-22 fistfight; that Jets' team couldn't hold a candle to this one. So, with scheduled rain on the horizon and THIS Jets defense waiting, it's going to be a bare knuckle brawl on Sunday. As such, let's get to Know the Texans' Week 14 Foe - The New York Jets

2023 Schedule (4-8)

Week 1 - W Buffalo Bills 22-16

Week 2 - L @ Dallas Cowboys 30-10

Week 3 - L New England Patriots 15-10

Week 4 - L Kansas City Chiefs 23-20

Week 5 - W @ Denver Broncos 31-21

Week 6 - W Philadelphia Eagles 20-14

Week 7 - BYE

Week 8 - W @ New York Giants 13-10

Week 9 - L Los Angeles Chargers 27-6

Week 10 - L @ Las Vegas Raiders 16-12

Week 11 - L @ Buffalo Bills 32-6

Week 12 - L Miami Dolphins 34-13

Week 13 - L Atlanta Falcons 13-8

Week 14 - Houston Texans

Week 15 - @ Miami Dolphins

Week 16 - Washington Commanders

Week 17 - @ Cleveland Browns

Week 18 - @ New England Patriots

Jets (in 2023 regular season)

Rushing Yards Per game - 90.8 ypg (29th in the NFL)

Passing Yards Per game - 169.3 ypg (31st)

Total offense per game - 260.1 ypg (31st)

Turnovers lost - 23 (11 INT, 12 Fumbles lost)

Expected Jets starting offense for Week 14

QB - Zach Wilson (named the rest of year starter by HC Robert Saleh on Wednesday)

RB - Breece Hall

WR - Garrett Wilson

WR - JASON BROWNLEE (injured in last week's game - DNP at practice Wed.)

TE - C.J. Uzomah

TE - Jeremy Ruckert

LT - Mekhi Becton

LG - Laken Tomlinson


RG - Wes Schweitzer


Other Key Offensive pieces





FB - Nick Bawden

OT - Duane Brown

TE - Tyler Conklin

Italics - Rookie

ALL CAPS - New to team in 2023

Keys to winning v. the Jets Offense

  1. Zach's Back - The 48 hours after the Jets' loss to the Falcons were as chaotic as could be as it pertained to the Jets' QB position. Tim Boyle, who had started the two previous games, was released. Not demoted. Gone. Then, it was reported that Zach Wilson was reluctant to be the starter again. Who knows what was true and, honestly, it doesn't matter at this point because Saleh named Wilson the starter and that has me a bit worried. Wilson isn't the most accurate passer. He doesn't make the best decisions. But, what worries me is the fact that he's both mobile and creative. He got off a Hail Mary against the Raiders on the final play of the game, that was nearly complete, that no QB in his right mind would've even gotten off or gotten off INTO THE END ZONE. He can throw the ball from different arm slots. He has a howitzer hanging off his right shoulder. He re-enters the starting lineup and I'm guessing he'll let it fly. It certainly hasn't been ALL bad this season. He completed 67% of his passes with no INT against the Chargers. He directed a game tying drive in the fourth quarter v. the Giants, which led to a win. He outdueled both Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts at Met Life earlier this year, winning one and narrowly losing the other. I'm not happy about this development because, at this point, what does he have to lose? If he's loose and free, Wilson will be very, VERY dangerous and that's not a good thing.
  1. Friend turned foe- In 2021, Texans QB C.J. Stroud was brilliant in his first year as the starting QB at THE Ohio State University. His power trio of receivers included Austin, TX native Garrett Wilson, who caught 12 TD passes from Stroud that season. Now, Wilson is the main offensive foe on the New York Jets offense. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2022 and is clearly the most dangerous weapon on this offense, yet again. He hurt defenses in catch and run situations. He can be a possession receiver, when needed, moving the sticks. He can be a deep threat, excelling with his route running (double moves!!) and ball skills. No other Jets receiver has more than 20 receptions so it's clear that Wilson will look to Wilson throughout this game. Thankfully, the Texans secondary is finally fully healthy (or as close as they can get), tangling with a friend turned foe - Garrett Wilson.
  1. One after the other- The Jets offensive line has dealt with numerous injuries, similar to the Houston Texans. They lost Connor McGovern and Alijah Vera-Tucker earlier this year. They've had others banged up and starting RG Wes Schweitzer missed practice earlier in the week. They started a fourth round rookie Carter Warren at right tackle last week against Atlanta, who started at left tackle the week prior against the Miami Dolphins. Point being that the Texans defense isn't facing the best combination of Jets OL and they MUST make life tough on Zach Wilson, mostly by making life uber-difficult on this patchwork Jets OL. The Texans defense must think like the Jets - they know Wilson can't live in the pocket for a long time behind this line. As such, it's going to be quick stuff out of Zach's hand early, especially in horrible weather. Be ready for that quick game, but most importantly, make life miserable on this OL.

The Houston Texans held practice on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 in preparation for the Week 14 matchup against the New York Jets.

Jets DEFENSE (in 2023 regular season)

Rushing Yards Allowed Per game - 136.1 ypg (29th in the NFL)

Passing Yards Allowed Per game - 176.6 ypg (3rd)

Total offense Allowed per game - 312.7 ypg (9th)

Turnovers generated - 19 (12 INT, 7 Fumble recoveries - Jets are -4 in TO margin)

Expected Jets starting defense for Week 14

DE - John Franklin-Myers


DT - Quinnen Williams

DE - Jermaine Johnson

LB - Quincy Williams

LB - C.J. Mosley

CB - Sauce Gardner

S - Jordan Whitehead

S - Tony Adams

CB - D.J. Reed

Nickel - Michael Carter II

Other Key Defensive pieces

DE - Bryce Huff

DE - Michael Clemons


DT - Solomon Thomas

S - Ashtyn Davis

LB - Jamien Sherwood

Italics - Rookie

ALL CAPS - New to team in 2023

Keys to winning v. the Jets' Defense

  1. Quinnen- In 2022, the Texans interior OL faced a glut of dominant interior players. You name him and the Texans faced him. Dexter Lawrence. Jeffery Simmons. Jon Allen. Daron Payne. Every DUDE that got PAID last year was in that Murderer's Row of interior stars. Except one. Those guys moved off the schedule this year and perhaps the best of them all moved on to the schedule - Jets star Quinnen Williams. I'm not sure that I've seen a man that large, so damn quick off the ball. His overall game features insane agility and quickness rather than sheer power but he's still a powderkeg with his hands and strength. I've thought about Williams all week, since the end of the win over Denver. This Texans OL must contain him and not leave any G-C-G on him one-on-one. Controlling the down linemen is a must in the run game, in particular, this week which makes Williams the #1 overall focus for the Texans offense this weekend.
  1. Quincy- Quinnen's brother Quincy Williams was a third round pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 but was waived after two injury plagued seasons. He was claimed on waivers in 2021 by his brother's Jets squad and the two have wrecked shop ever since. But, it's the Quincy/C.J. Mosley linebacker combination that's one of the best in the league. Williams has 4.5 speed and Mosley is as smart as they come. As a result, these two are the perfect fit and they hunt all day long. I said earlier that the Texans MUST get the Jets down linemen handled, but that's going to leave the Texans running backs in a "must make these two LBs miss" mode. That's not going to happen often against Quincy and the Jets' C.J.
  1. Quote-worthy - When it comes to talkative and confident cornerbacks, there's little question that the Jets have a duo that fits those two adjectives to a T. Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed became Jets teammates in the same 2022 offseason and have shut down perimeter WRs ever since. I remember when the 49ers came to Houston for joint practices in 2019. Reed was one of the lowest DBs on the totem pole, but he certainly didn't know that. He talked trash, hit everything that moved and just kept making plays. I walked away from those practices thinking that the former Kansas State star might make something of himself in this league. He has and is the perfect partner opposite the Jets #4 overall pick in the 2022 Draft. Sauce has been a star in this league since day one. He's physical, makes receivers be perfect on their routes and then when the ball is in the air, forces those WRs to fight for the ball…or else. I can only imagine that opposing WRs are left frustrated, beat up and downtrodden after a game against these two. The Jets pass defense is one of the best in the league and C.J. Stroud and the Texans pass catchers are going to find that out on Sunday, facing these two for a full 60 minutes.

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