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Short-handed New York Jets Take on Jacksonville Jaguars

Short-handed New York Jets Take on Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 Toilet Bowl

The New York Jets take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this week in East Rutherford, New Jersey. While many games around the NFL this week have playoff implications, this matchup has the opposite: 2022 NFL Draft implications.

The Jets and Jaguars are a combined 5-23 this season, and currently own the #1 and #4 overall picks. However, should the Jaguars come out on top, the Jets would have a guaranteed higher pick in the draft, should they both lose out.

Covid is Taking Over

1 Jets Drive has turned into Coronavirus central this week, as the Jets currently have 21 players and coaches on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. Some of the more notable names include Head Coach Robert Saleh, defensive back Michael Carter II,  guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, defensive end John Franklin-Myers and receiver Elijah Moore.

With that being said, things are not looking good. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is also on the list, and this means the Jets will get to watch Dan Feeney play more football. On top of this, the injury report for this week included Jamison Crowder, who did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.

Should Crowder not be able to play, Zach Wilson will get to throw to… Keelan Cole and Braxton Berrios. Look for the Jets to lean a little bit more on the run game this week.

On the other side of the field, the Jaguars have had some Covid struggles as well. Laviska Shenault and Josh Allen were added to the Reserve/Covid-19 list on Friday, and those are two huge losses for them. Shenault has been a great target for Trevor Lawrence this season, and Josh Allen has been a force off the edge since the Jaguars drafted him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Zach Wilson vs. Trevor Lawrence

Of course, the main matchup that people will be looking at this week is Wilson vs. Lawrence, the second and first overall picks from the 2021 NFL Draft. Through 15 weeks, neither has the real edge when it comes to individual stats. Lawrence currently sits at 2,945 yards, nine touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Wilson, on the other hand, has 1,911 yards, six touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

While Lawrence has a considerable edge in passing yards, he has also played in 4 more games than Wilson. On top of this, Lawrence has thrown 200 more passes than Wilson. What can be said for both is that their supporting casts are not great. Despite the Jets having a core of good young players, none of them have been on the field at the same time. Fans have yet to see Michael Carter, Moore, Wilson, and Vera-Tucker all on the field at the same time with Mike LaFleur in the booth.

For the Jaguars, D.J. Chark and Travis Etienne were both out for the season before the season even started, but the rest of his supporting cast includes Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault and James Robinson. However, one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL has him running for his life often.

Naturally, fans will compare these two young players for the rest of their careers, even if the only thing they have in common is the position they play. Hopefully they both have great long careers.

Prediction

New York Jets: 27                                                                                                                                                                Jacksonville Jaguars: 17

The Jets will run the ball efficiently against a vulnerable Jaguars defense. With Conor McDermott and Dan Feeney playing this week once again, the Jets can not have Wilson running for his life every other play.

The Jaguars will not be able to protect Trevor Lawrence, and the Jets defense will remember that they are football players, but just for this week.

This has been a preview of the New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, the 2021 Toilet Bowl.




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