3 Takeaways from Jets' Week 17 Loss vs. Seahawks
The New York Jets' promising 2022 campaign came crashing down on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. With the Miami Dolphins losing earlier in the day, New York had a prime opportunity to keep its playoff hopes very much alive.
However, the Jets fell flat in Seattle, and with the blowout 23-6 loss came an end to the Jets' playoff hopes. Instead of playing in the postseason, the Jets may have to watch the division-rival Dolphins or New England Patriots take their spot.
The Jets might not even get the chance to play spoiler in Week 18 against Miami. Regardless of how the Dolphins fare, the Patriots will be in with a win over the Buffalo Bills. Five straight losses have solidified a losing season and have left New York with virtually nothing to play for in its finale.
It's a disappointing end for a team that looked to have finally turned the corner in 2022. Here are our three biggest takeaways from the Jets' Week 17 loss to the Seahawks.
Zach Wilson Will Get Another Chance in 2023
The Jets' quarterback of the future might not be on the current roster, but it's safe to say that 2021 second overall pick Zach Wilson will get another opportunity. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday morning that New York does not plan to move Wilson in the offseason.
"Jets general manager Joe Douglas does not plan to shop Wilson this offseason, sources say," Rapoport wrote. "The team views Wilson as an incredibly hard worker, a good teammate and very smart."
Plans can change, though, and a stellar performance from Mike White might have changed the thought process. Wilson has twice been benched for White this season, and New York was counting on White to keep their playoff hopes afloat.
However, White stumbled on Sunday, tossing two interceptions and posting a dismal 47.4 passer rating. With him at the helm, the Jets offense converted just four of 13 third-down attempts and went 0-for-2 on third down.
White's lackluster performance likely ended any thought of rolling into 2023 with him as the starter. While the Jets may eye other quarterbacks in free agency and/or the draft, it's clear that Wilson will at least get an opportunity to bounce back.
Breece Hall's Injury Continues to Haunt New York
If the Jets are playing the "what-if" game, they have to look back and wonder how the season might have unfolded if not for Breece Hall's devastating Week 7 injury. The Jets were rolling at 5-2 when Hall suffered a torn ACL and meniscus, and the rookie runner was emerging as a star.
In his seven appearances, Hall racked up 463 rushing yards, 218 receiving yards and five touchdowns. At the time, he appeared to be an early front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Without Hall, the Jets have relied on the likes of Michael Carter, Zonovan Knight and Ty Jones. While New York has fielded a serviceable ground game, it hasn't been dominant. The Jets rank 19th in yards per carry and 25h in rushing.
Hall likely would have been a difference-maker against a Seattle team ranked 26th in yards per carry allowed and 30th in run defense. The Jets might have picked up another win or two along the way to Week 17 as well.
Hall's injury was a turning point, and it's probably no coincidence that the Jets have gone just 2-7 since he went on injured reserve. They definitely could have used him on Sunday. While Johnson (5.8 yards per carry) looked solid against Seattle, the Jets rushed for just 75 yards and 4.4 yards per carry as a team.
The Jets Have a Foundation for Next Season
While Jets fans probably don't want to hear about silver linings on Monday, it's important to keep things in perspective. New York now knows exactly what it needs to contend in 2023, and that's quality QB play.
While missing the playoffs hurts, the Jets are an improved team and have most of the other pieces in place.
"I know it's hard to see light at the end of the tunnel, but there are a lot of really cool things to look at for this season," head coach Robert Saleh said, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. "But right now it stings big time."
Saleh appears to be a quality coach, and he has New York trending in the right direction. The Jets should have Hall back at some point in 2023, and they have viable Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates in Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner, respectively.
New York has quality skill players like Hall, Wilson, Tyler Conklin and Corey Davis. It has a defense that ranks third overall and fourth in points allowed. If the Jets can find a competent and consistent quarterback—either an improved Wilson or someone else—they can be a factor in the AFC for years to come.
Fans can take a few days to lament Sunday's playoff elimination, but they should also take the time to appreciate that New York's future is as bright as its been in several years. The fact that the Jets—who won a combined six games in 2020 and 2021—were even still alive entering Sunday's game is a testament to how far this team has come.