In Mike Holmgren's last home game as Seahawks coach, there's nothing he'd like better than to beat his old friend Brett Favre.
The Jets playoffs begin two weeks early as Gang Green needs to win out to guarantee a playoff spot. Their first task? The Seattle Seahawks who although are having an awful season, are a dangerous team. Also, as you may have heard, the Jets are 0-3 in West Coast road trips this season.
Additionally, Brett Favre has never won at Qwest, nor has he been stellar in games against his former coach, Mike Holmgren, who will be coaching his final game in Seattle. The two have each won twice in the four meetings between the familiar foes.
There certainly is a lot of emotion in this one, and both teams are going to need it. The Jets, despite being in the lead, are fighting for their playoff lives, and the Seahawks are 3-11. To think that one more win, maybe that tragic loss in Oakland, maybe a little less Thanksgiving turkey hangover against Denver, and Gang Green wouldn’t have to sleep with one eye opened in the AFC East.
Due to airline difficulties, Mangini was unable to alter the travel plans this time around, but in the end, it’s a game.
“We are actually playing a team on the West Coast,” Mangini told reporters. “We’re not playing ‘the West Coast.’”
To go up against the Jets solid rush defense, which has been soft lately, is Seahawks unning back Julius Jones, who has just 692 yards. He’ll be running behind a line that may possibly contain blockers that were not starters at the beginning of the year, four of which are on injured reserve. They’ll have fun with Kris Jenkins and Shaun Ellis. Ellis leads the Jets in sacks with eight.
Seattle’s quarterback, Seneca Wallace, presents a threat to a Jets defense that has struggled against mobile quarterbacks like JaMarcus Russell. Wallace ran for 47 yards against New England, and may be the key to his team’s success this week.
He’s thrown for 200-plus yards three times this season, with Deion Branch as a solid target. Branch caught two touchdown passes against the Patriots on Dec. 7th. TE John Carlson has been a consistent guy for the ‘hawks, having caught a pass in four different games this season. He had 105 yards against Dallas.
The Jets secondary, which has been struggling this season, will certainly have its hands full. Hopefully Big-Play Abe can make some more magic like he did against Buffalo.
Jets ‘O’ vs. Seahawks ‘D’
Brett Favre has been in a bit of a slump, which Mangini assumes his quarterback will get out of naturally somehow. He is Brett Favre after all. He had 207 yards against the Bills, but just 137 the week before in San Francisco. That darned West Coast. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu missed a game in week nine, when he missed his first career game in Week 9, but he still has 63 solo tackles and 22 assists on the year. He’ll have his work cut out for him in facing Thomas Jones, one of the top rushers in the AFC.
THE EDGE: JETS
Jets ‘D’ vs. Seahawks ‘O’
It’s late in the season, and Kris Jenkins even admitted to being a bit banged up lately, but last week showed us the kind of heart this defense has. While some call it luck, Favre was quick to point out that they made that break.
“I think our defense did [that],” he said.
It will be going up against an O-line that will be missing the aforementioned four, maybe even all five original starters. If Gang Green can exploit that inexperience, its secondary should be able to get away with not having a big game.
THE EDGE: JETS
Leon Washington was just named to the Pro Bowl, so this is his game that he proves to the many football fans that simply haven’t seen him yet. But Mangini said that with eight returns of plus-40, the Seahawks have the most big-play returns in the NFL.
THE EDGE: SEAHAWKS
Brett Favre finally wins one in Qwest, making it his historic 33rd stadium with a victory, and to keep the New York media at bay, the Jets get one out West, setting up the drama-packed Dec. 28 hosting of Miami.
Jets 23 Seahawks 17