Five Jets to keep an eye on as the Green & White host to the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on Sunday:
QB Zach Wilson — Another spotlight game for the Jets' young signal-caller, this one as the No. 2 selection of the April draft going up against the No. 1 pick in Trevor Lawrence. Both have struggled as rookies but both are eager to show progress over these last 3 games heading into their sophomore campaigns. Wilson lost another of his favored receivers as TE Ryan Griffin has gone to IR, but he's still got TE Tyler Kroft, just returned from his injury, plus Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman available out of the backfield. Wilson could get LT George Fant back in the lineup to protect his blind side as he looks for his receivers against Jacksonville's defense, 28th in the NFL in yards/play allowed (7.31), 30th in interception rate and 26th in sack rate.
WR Keelan Cole — Cole's Jets career has been a rough go in year one as he's had only 5 receptions in his last 5 games and his only catch at Miami came on the Jets' last offensive play of the game for 9 yards on fourth-and-1. But he has pass-catching talent and sometimes amazing hands, as his totals in his first 4 NFL seasons — 276 catches, 2,242 yards, 12 TDs — suggest. And who were those first 4 seasons spent with? The Jaguars, of course, so Cole has a whole lot of goals going into this one: Catch multiple passes, including one for his first touchdown as a Jet, and help lead the Jets to victory over his first pro team.
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DL Quinnen Williams and LB Quincy Williams — Big game for the Brothers Q, perhaps for different reasons. Quinnen, fighting through a shoulder injury, is tied for the Jets lead with John Franklin-Myers with 6 sacks and 12 QB hits but still hasn't hit his stride. Lawrence, tied for the NFL lead in most giveaways (14 INTs, 4 lost FUMs) and with 58% passing accuracy, would seem vulnerable to incompletions and turnovers forced byQuinnen and Co. One thing Lawrence does quite well is tuck and run — his 4.8 yards/carry is a tick higher than featured back James Robinson's 4.7. That's where Quincy, with his speed to the ball, sudden impact, and ability to play in the opposing backfield come in. He leads the Jets with 16.5 total tackles at or behind the line (14.5 tackles for loss/no gain, 2.0 sacks). And, like Cole, he started his NFL career in Jacksonville and would love to show his first team what they're missing.
KR Braxton Berrios — This could be another BB game although all the Jets' special teams have an opportunity against the Jags' struggling specialists. Berrios remains No. 1 in the NFL with a 28.7 kickoff-return average, and he'll be going against a coverage team that is 31st in the league in allowing 28.4 yards/return, gave up a TD runback to the Texans, and turned to P Logan Cooke in an attempt to get kickoffs into the end zone. Berrios is also 2nd among all punt returners with at least 10 returns at 13.5 yards/return. Jets P Braden Mann at Miami had his best game since returning from injury. Finally, the Jaguars, with Matthew Wright as their current K, are last in the NFL in FG accuracy at 68.4%. Has Eddy Piñeiro steadied the Jets' kicking game? He's hit all 4 of his FG tries in two games. A blustery Meadowlands day figures to test all kickers, coverage and return teams.