Florham Park, N.J. - After getting two straight wins and the season starting to look like it was turning around for the New York Jets, then they flew to Miami and lost to the Dolphins 27-23. That game was more important than people think. Not only did they lose to a division opponent, but they lost momentum in making a playoff push. With the loss, the best record the Jets can have is 10-6, the same record as last year which wasn't enough to get them into the playoffs. In the week before the bye, the Jets play the Los Angeles Rams, a game that can boost their confidence level and help them make somewhat of a push into the playoffs.
The Rams biggest struggle this season, like the Jets, is their offense. It starts with the man taking the snaps for them in Case Keenum. Keenum has thrown for 2,004 yards this season, but has a completion percentage of 61.5%, taking him way out of the Top 20. He's also thrown nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions, which is second in the NFL behind non other than the Jets very own Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The sad thing is that Keenum is much better than Fitzpatrick is statistically. Keenum has five more completions, but 16 less attempts than Fitzpatrick. Keenum has a higher completion percentage, more yards, more touchdowns, less interceptions, and a higher QB rating. It's clear that both quarterbacks have been struggling greatly. There has been questions to why Jared Goff hasn't come in for the Rams. For the Jets, Fitzpatrick was benched for Geno Smith before Smith tore his ACL. Then fans got a taste of Bryce Petty this past Sunday when Fitzpatrick got hurt briefly. Both teams fans are calling for their starting quarterbacks to be replaced by a younger gunslinger that can be the future of the franchise. Yet, both quarterbacks realize that if they play poorly for their teams, that could mean the end of their starting days.
With Keenum struggling as of late and the Rams offense unable to put up many points, the Jets secondary should have a field day. After their performance against the Dolphins where the Jets held Ryan Tannehill to 149 yards and a touchdown, the secondary went from being the worst in the NFL to being ranked 22nd, allowing 272.2 yards per contest. In the Jets previous two wins, the secondary has come away with four interceptions, in which they only had two in the previous six games. Overall, the secondary has looked much better and can run with the Rams receivers.
The run game has been a major bust for the Rams this season. Last season in 13 games, Todd Gurley had 229 attempts for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. A somewhat good stat line, but not so good when you consider that he rushed for 566 yards in his first four games and 540 yards for the rest of the season. Those late season struggles carried over into this year, as he's had 146 attempts for 451 yards and only three touchdowns. Gurley is averaging 56.4 yards per game while the team as a whole is averaging 77.3 yards per game, 29th in the NFL. Match that up against the Jets defense front that is 4th in the league only allowing opponents to run for 81 yards per game.
The main issue the Jets are going to have is going up against the Rams defense, that is 8th in the NFL in allowing opponents to get only 330.9 yards per game. The pass defense holds opponents to under 240 yards while the rush defense holds opponents to under 100 yards per game. They also hold opponents to under 21 points per game. This doesn't bode well for the Jets offense that has been struggling all season long.
The good thing though is that Matt Forte has rushed for 80 yards in the last three games and has scored four times during that span. When the Jets run the ball 30 or more times, they are 3-1 on the season. Devin Smith has been activated from the PUP list, so the Jets get back their explosive receiver. The wide receiver competition also got more competitive with another starting-caliber receiver coming into the mix.
The Rams and the Jets sit in the same boat with three wins and their playoff hopes diminishing. If New York can come away with the win in front of their home crowd, it could mean big things moving forward in the playoff hunt. All the Jets need to focus on is clicking on all cylinders.null