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Jets vs Jaguars preview

A few weeks ago, the New York Jets were the surprise team of the 2022 NFL season, going into their bye week with a 6-3 record and being heavily supported by some NFL bettors. Three defeats in their last four games have stalled that progress and seen the Jets slip in the betting for the AFC East title.

With just two weeks to go after this game, the matchup with Jacksonville will be crucial to the Jets’ chances of getting back into contention. Jets fans will have plenty of opportunity to study the betting markets for this game, thanks to the wide availability of betting options in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including the BetMGM PA site, but what can we expect from this game?

Jets slipping after strong start

Although the Jets went big in the draft, bringing in several highly-rated young prospects, not much was expected this season. That they were bottom of the AFC East going into Week 15 was not a huge surprise, but to be bottom with a 7-6 record is something no one expected.

They got to 6-3 off the back of some huge defensive performances and a remarkable will to win. But the performance of quarterback Zach Wilson was always a concern and that came to a head after the defeat to the Patriots in Week 11. Mike Smith stepped in and did a solid job, keeping his team in the game against the Vikings and the Bills – both currently top of their divisions.

The Jets are unlucky in that the AFC East has become the hottest division in the NFL. The Bills are way out in front, but the Dolphins started 8-5 and the Patriots matched New York at 7-6 into Week 15. With tough games against Miami and Seattle to close out the season, the Jets are running out of time.

Jaguars focused on 2023

If the AFC East has been a powerhouse division, the AFC South is the polar opposite. Three of the four teams, including the Jaguars, have losing records. Jacksonville kept their season alive with a win over Tennessee, but they are two games behind the Jets in the Wild Card race and even sweeping all of their remaining games may not be enough to get into the playoffs.

The Jaguars are not a bad team – in fact, they rank almost exactly in the middle of the pack on both offense and defense, and that offers some promise for the future, but right now, they are almost certainly focusing on 2023 and how they can improve.

What to expect

Whichever quarterback takes to the field for the Jets, their hopes will lie entirely with the defense, which continues to perform strongly most weeks. If the Jaguars have any particular strength on offense, it is in passing, but that will play right into the Jets’ hands. Robert Salah’s team has the fourth-best record against the pass in the NFL and will be confident of stopping the Jaguars at MetLife Stadium.

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