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Are Wilson and the Jets Ready for Their “Make it or Break it” Moment on TNF?

Call it an early Christmas miracle, football pulling a joke on all fans, or whatever you want, but the Jets and Jaguars are in the hunt for a playoff spot. After being the two worst teams in the league last season, New York and Jacksonville are set to duke it out on Thursday Night Football with both squads in dire need of a win.

While Jacksonville is coming into this matchup with three consecutive wins, including a thrilling overtime victory over Dallas last weekend, the Jets are riding on a three-game losing streak. Could those losses have been avoided? Sure, but it’s the Jets, and the Jets will do what the Jets do best, flounder at the chance to get the ball rolling in the best way possible.

Are Wilson and the Jets Ready for Their “Make it or Break it” Moment on TNF?
Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets - Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

With Christmas three days away, will we see the Jets pull off a miracle in the Meadowlands and keep the Jets alive and kicking in the AFC playoff race? Or will the Jags make it three wins in a row and make a strong push for the AFC south divisional crown?

Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports, and NFL predictions. We’ve plenty of NFL expert picks for you to consider.

It’s Not a Joke Anymore, This Is Wilson’s Last Opportunity

Are Wilson and the Jets Ready for Their “Make it or Break it” Moment on TNF?
Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

There was once a time in Jets-land when everyone thought that Zach Wilson was the answer to all of New York’s perennial QB issues. That thought lasted what? A couple of weeks give or take? After struggling for the better part of his short tenure as the Jets‘ franchise passer, it’s more evident than ever that Wilson is not the answer to New York’s problems.

Will I go as far as to say that Mike White, New York’s other alternative at QB is the answer? Not necessarily, but White has managed to show in a handful of games that he has the chops to win over the team, the fans, and the respect of everyone else. With White out for this game though, Wilson will once again be tasked with leading New York’s offense, this time with the team’s playoff hopes riding on scoring a win.

To beat the Jaguars, Wilson desperately needs to get his passing accuracy on point. A lot of Wilson’s issues when playing come from how he manages to miss easy targets and overthrow the ball almost constantly. Against a Jaguars defense that allows an average of 252.6 passing yards per game, this is Wilson’s chance to show that he has a cannon for an arm and he is not scared to use it.

By hitting rookie sensation Garrett Wilson, second-year starter Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios, as long as he can control the ball after the pass, on a constant, Wilson should have a rather easy outing against the Jags. Add to that a strong rushing performance from Zonovan Knight, New York’s newest option at RB, and New York could be in for a strong offensive performance, something refreshing to say the least.

On defense, the Jets have to put all of their focus on controlling Jacksonville’s passing game. From neutralizing the passer and pressuring him constantly, to having their secondary shut down the Jaguars’ receivers, that will be the key to making it to Christmas with an 8-7 record.

Lawrence On Fire = Bad News For New York.

Are Wilson and the Jets Ready for Their “Make it or Break it” Moment on TNF?
Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars – Mike Carlson/Getty Images/AFP

After watching the Jaguars play the past couple of weeks, I couldn’t help but wonder what is going through the mind of Trevor Lawrence. After a joke of a first season, mostly because of Urban Meyer and his overwhelming incompetence, Lawrence is finally starting to show the talents that made him a generational star in college football.

With 14 touchdowns and only one interception in his last six games, all signs point toward Lawrence finally hitting his stride late in the season. Thankfully for the Jaguars, this has led them to start giving the Titans a true run for their divisional crown, with only one game separating both teams in the standings.

As the Jaguars get ready to square off on prime-time TV against the Jets, they will need Lawrence to continue with his hot streak and lead their offense to the promised land. Against a Jets defense that excels against the pass, the Jaguars will have to double down on two strategies to try and beat New York.

On the one hand, Jacksonville’s offensive line will have to play their strongest football to stop New York’s front-seven defense, protect Lawrence and allow him to make quick, short pass plays to move the ball quickly. Secondly, hitting New York with a strong rushing offense, led by Travis Etienne Jr. By breaking through New York’s front defense and scoring strong first and second down yardage gains, the Jags could find it easier to put up points on the board.

Defensively, the Jaguars should make it a point to punish Wilson from the get-go. New York’s passer is known for turning a simple pass play into a scrambling mess in a matter of seconds because of poor decision-making and deficient pass protection. Once Jacksonville gets a hold of Wilson and can control his game, it will be much easier to handle the rest.

Will New York Make It to Christmas With a Winning Record?

The stakes are higher than ever for the New York Jets. After putting the league on notice with their defensive dominance and stealthy offensive production, New York fell back into its old ways dropping three straight games.

With Wilson having his last true chance to show he can be a contributor for his team, it will be up to him and his offense to show up and show out, not leaving all responsibilities up to the defense as usual.

Even with Lawrence playing his best football since entering the league, this Jets defense might prove to be a bit too much to handle for the Jaguars. So roll with New York to pull off a win on TNF by the skin of their teeth at home and continue fighting for a spot in the playoffs.

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