Points will be at a premium when the New York Jets host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. Neither one of these offenses is that great, and the weather will not be cooperative. Currently, forecasts are calling for rain throughout the evening, but at least the temperature is expected to be in the 40s. That could favor the Jaguars, as they do have a quarterback with underrated running ability in Trevor Lawrence.
Either the New York Jets or Jacksonville Jaguars will be essentially limited from playoff contention on Thursday Night Football. Jacksonville is 6-8 following an upset win over Dallas, while the Jets fell to 7-7 after a tough home loss to Detroit. Currently, the top nine teams in the AFC have seven wins or more, so neither team can afford a defeat. These teams will face off on Thursday, December 22, 2022, at 8:15 p.m. ET on Prime Video from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
NFL Week 16 Betting Odds
Jacksonville Jaguars +1
New York Jets -1
Money Line: Jaguars -101, Jets -119
There has been a lot of action on the Under since the line opened and much of that is due to the weather. Initially, the total was set at 41 per the NFL betting odds, but that number has dropped to 39 flat in less than 24 hours. The spread has vacillated between Jaguars -1 and Jets -1, so this game should kick off with the number around a PK.
Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence is turning the corner and becoming a top ten signal caller. Lawrence had a subpar rookie season, but it’s hard to really fault him given the enormous mistake of hiring Urban Meyer to coach an NFL franchise. That stalled his progression, yet we are seeing him blossom at the tail end of his second season. Over his last six games, Lawrence has completed 70.4 % of his passes for 1,680 yards with 14 touchdowns compared to just one interception.
Christian Kirk should surpass 1,000 receiving yards on Thursday and is averaging 13.2 YPR. Zay Jones and tight end Evan Engram are on pace to finish with over 750 receiving yards, and Travis Etienne Jr. is a dangerous dual threat running back. Ettiene has 209 touches for 1,155 yards and eight touchdowns. Lawrence is a sneakily effective runner that can move the chains too.
Jacksonville’s defense hasn’t been great, but No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker is starting to have an impact on games. Josh Allen is playing very well too at linebacker with five sacks and nine tackles for loss, but the secondary has had some issues and is surrendering 7.1 YPA and 252.6 YPG through the air.
New York Jets
Mike White will probably be unable to start once again, thrusting Zach Wilson back into the starting role. Wilson was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft behind Lawrence, but he hasn’t been nearly as promising as his colleague. We did watch Wilson have his best game of the season against the bad Detroit defense last week, completing 18 of 35 passes for 317 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but he still struggles with his accuracy and has completed under 55% of his passes.
This offense hasn’t been great with Wilson or Joe Flacco under center. The ground game took a big hit when rookie Breece Hall suffered a season-ending injury, and it hasn’t been effective with Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight running the ball. Rookie Garrett Wilson has been fantastic though with 67 receptions for 966 yards and four touchdowns. Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and tight end Tyler Conklin are also decent targets.
Gang Green is back with Robert Saleh calling the shots. The Jets have a top four NFL defense, allowing 18.8 PPG, 305.4 YPG, and 4.8 yards per play. However, Quinnen Williams and Lamarcus Joyner will miss this game, leaving the Jets without their best defensive lineman and a solid safety. Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed are elite cornerbacks, and this linebacking corps has some playmakers.
Jaguars at Jets Free Pick
Lawrence may throw an interception against these great cornerbacks, but he will be effective enough to lead the Jaguars to a win. That will have fans screaming DUUUUUUVAAAAAAL with two games left in the regular season.
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