Thursday night’s game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets will almost certainly be billed as a battle between No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson in the 2021 NFL Draft. But that’s not really the case, and not just because two players are never actually on the field at the same time.
Lawrence has outperformed Wilson so far, so it’s hardly worth mentioning in the same category. but was reinserted into the lineup when White was sidelined with injury last week.
No, the real battle in this game is Lawrence against a Jets defense that promises to be one of the best matchups in the final weeks of the regular season. Before we break down the matchups above, let’s take a look at how to watch the game.
date: Thursday, December 22 | time: 8:15 PM ET
position: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
Streaming: Amazon Prime Video
follow: CBS Sports App
odds: Jet -1.5, O/U 36
Jaguar Offense vs. Jets Defense
In his last six games, Lawrence has had 157-of-223 passes (70.4%) for 1,680 yards (7.5 per attempt), 14 touchdowns and an interception. He was his 3rd in the NFL in his TruMedia version of expected extra points per dropback (EPA) in that period, and had several passes his funnel his defense (Ravens, Lions, Titans). ), he tore through the vaunted Cowboys his defense. Last week he had 318 yards and his four touchdowns.
Lawrence repeatedly named Dallas’ No. 5 cornerback Kelvin Joseph. Kelvin Joseph has both Jordan Lewis and Anthony Brown out this year due to injury. Pro Football Focus acknowledged that Joseph was in his end for Lawrence’s four touchdowns of his tosses, but he received two on his end, but the third was near goal in the fourth corner with Joseph. Daron Brando (who made the lone interception against Lawrence) was the result of a miscommunication. line.
Unfortunately, the Jets cornerback has no such weakness. Source Gardner is a natural favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he has emerged as one of the few best cornerbacks in the NFL. The Jets have another stud in DJ Reed’s perimeter his corner, and this duo has the most out of his 118 cornerbacks, who have played over 250 snaps so far this season. The PFF coverage grade ranks him 1st (Gardner) and 10th (Reed). It also ranks him 2nd (Gardner) and 21st (Reed) for the percentage of completions allowed. First (Gardner) and 20th (Reed) in coverage snap per allowed reception. 3rd (Gardner) and his 17th (Reed) are his ratings for passers allowed in coverage. Meanwhile, Nickel Corner’s Michael Carter II only allows a passer rating of 77.5 on throws in his direction at the slot.
Jett aligns most of the time with Gardner in the left corner (84% of snaps), Reed in the right corner (89%), and Carter in the slot (93%). Jacksonville uses Christian Kirk as the main slotman (78%), with Zay Jones (67% of him outside) and Marvin Jones Jr. (85%) working on the perimeter. That means Jones will see a lot of Gardner and Reed, and Kirk will mostly be playing against Carter. Kirk and tight end Evan Engram may be best positioned to act as Lawrence’s top targets here, given the relative strength of Gardner and Reed compared to other news groups in New York. Still, the Jets’ auxiliary coverman is no slouch.There’s a reason two quarterbacks have over 250 yards against them all season. Joe Barrow for 3 weeks)
Another important aspect of this matchup is the absence of left tackle Cam Robinson, who suffered a torn meniscus last week. Robinson has made at least 250 snaps, of which he has made 81 tackles and blocked PFF passes, which put him in 31st place in his grade. The Jags said his 2021 second-round pick Walker Little is likely in his absence, with Little just a week ahead of him with 19 pass blocks on the snap. I gave him 4 pressures. He did somewhat well last season in limited action, but according to TruMedia, he ranks 10th in the NFL in pressure percentage and does most of his best work while chasing down passers against the Jets defense. It’s still not ideal to have to use the , it only sends 4 rashers. Between Karl Lawson, John Franklin Myers, Bryce Huff, a likely return Quinen Williams, and rookies Jermaine Johnson and Michael Clemons, New York has a lot of talent from multiple attributes multiple ways. There are people who can pursue it in
Luckily for Jacksonville, Lawrence’s super power is avoiding sacks. Despite working behind an offensive line that most people would agree with, he’s been dropped in just 4.6% of dropbacks, and in recent weeks he’s struggled to scramble under enemy pressure. He took off downfield 9.6% of the time and averaged 7.9 yards per scramble when under pressure in weeks 1-8, according to TruMedia. After Week 9, he took off 16.4% of his time and averaged 9.4 yards per ramper. Combine his escapability with the fact that he’s getting rid of the ball more and more quickly (after Week 9, his 55.6% of his throws were released within his 2.5 seconds of the snap). , up from his previous 49.1%). Knock him to the ground unless you hit him as soon as he gets to the top of the drop.
|< 2.5 seconds||49.1%||55.6%|
|2.5 to 3.0 seconds||22.0%||24.7%|
|3.0 seconds or more||28.5%||19.3%|
|time to throw||2.59||2.47|
The Jets may represent the most important defensive test Lawrence has ever faced. They finished 3rd in yards allowed, 5th in points allowed, 2nd in yards per play, 1st in yards per drive, 4th in points per drive, and finished in a touchdown or field goal. You enter this game as the 3rd in your opponent’s drive share. The opponent started the drive at his position (29.7 yard line), his fourth-best average field in the league. New York forced a three-and-out for his sixth-highest share of drives in the league and punts for his seventh-highest share. The Jets don’t allow big plays (3rd-lowest share of plays allows him to gain 10+ yards) and frequently negative his plays (6th-largest share of plays allows him to gain 0 yards). or loss).
He will have to navigate this challenge without blindside protectors, and will have to do so while traveling to North Jersey, where extreme cold is expected with the possibility of rain. , if he passes yet another test, the rest of the league should be very concerned about the type of quarterback he’s trying to become.
Featured games | | New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Score: Jaguars 17-13