The New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks head into this Week 17 bout with everything on the line. At 7-8 apiece, both teams are just barely on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, and a win would go quite a long way toward keeping postseason hopes alive. Let’s dive into the key NFL betting points and storylines to know ahead of this matchup.
Note that all odds are from our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook and are up to date as of Dec. 27.
Jets vs. Seahawks Odds
Jets -135, Seahawks +115
Jets vs. Seahawks Prediction
The revenge game we’ve all been waiting for! Geno Smith, this year’s revelation at quarterback, takes on Gang Green, the team that drafted him in the second round nearly a decade ago in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Smith looks like a much different quarterback than the one who took the field for the Jets in his early days. He’s now top five in passer rating and a large part of the reason Seattle’s offense has looked competent (and sometimes even explosive) when most back in August expected the unit to be one of the league’s worst.
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But Seattle’s offense has flatlined as of late. The team has dropped its last three matchups while scoring just 24, 13, and 10 points, respectively. Smith has looked pedestrian over that stretch, passing for 239 yards per game, five total touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 63.3% completion rate, a far cry from his uber-efficient, explosive early-season run.
Losing Tyler Lockett two weeks back hasn’t helped matters. The ever-reliable veteran wideout suffered a broken bone in his left hand in Seattle’s Week 15 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and missed the team’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Head coach Pete Carroll said Lockett’s surgery went well and that there’s a chance the pass catcher returns for the Week 17 matchup against the Jets. However, that’d be a mighty quick turnaround for a player that relies so much on his hands.
The Jets’ season arc has been remarkably similar to Seattle’s. New York’s postseason prospects were looking rosy for a time, in large part due to feisty defensive performances and surprisingly adept QB play. Veteran backup Mike White, who took over for slumping sophomore passer Zach Wilson, showed a remarkable ability to spark the offense and create downfield production.
White was downright stellar in the team’s Week 12 clobbering of the Chicago Bears, completing over 75% of his passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns, and zero picks. But his play deteriorated in losses to the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, and a rib injury suffered against Buffalo knocked him out of two subsequent games.
Wilson returned to the field in both of those latter contests, but he was unable to muster much offense against the upstart Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars, leading to the Jets falling to a 7-8 record. But White is back in the saddle this week, and hope is returning to the Meadowlands.
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And so this Week 17 matchup, one that is pivotal to forming the rest of the playoff picture, will come down to Smith versus White. That’s a sentence no one would’ve contemplated saying seriously just a few months ago, but here we are. Though I trust Seattle’s offense, even potentially sans Lockett, more than New York’s, the Jets’ defense is scary.
The Jets are giving up just 18.8 points per game (fourth in the NFL), 195.5 passing yards per game (fifth), and 113.9 rushing yards per game (11th). I think that defensive unit makes the difference in this evenly-matched contest, giving a slight edge to the Jets.
Jets vs. Seahawks Prediction
Jets 23, Seahawks 20