Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

6 big questions for Commanders vs. Jets in Week 16

The Washington Commanders (4-10) face the New York Jets (5-9) on Sunday in a game that has significant implications — for the 2024 NFL draft.

The Commanders currently hold the No. 4 position in next spring’s draft, with the Jets right behind them at No. 5. So, for two teams going nowhere this season, a win could be detrimental to offseason plans.

Washington enters Sunday having lost five consecutive games and seven of its last eight. The Jets have struggled, too, but they still have an elite defense. New York’s primary issue is on the offensive side of the ball. With Aaron Rodgers out for the season, Zach Wilson has struggled. Now, Wilson is out for Sunday’s game due to a concussion, and veteran Trevor Siemian will start against the Commanders.

This game could be really ugly.

To learn about the 2023 New York Jets, we recently sat down with Jets Wire managing editor Billy Riccette to preview this weekend’s game.

How do Jets fans feel about how Aaron Rodgers handled his “comeback?”

Jets Wire: They’re honestly over the whole saga of this season. Most would have rathered him stay on IR. They were understandably upset that Nick Bawden was waived to make room, but he did come back to the practice squad and will almost certainly be elevated for the rest of the season. His salary was also guaranteed for the season. There were fans who didn’t want Rodgers in the first place, let alone having him take up a roster spot at the end of the season, giving the Jets four quarterbacks on the active roster.

Is Zach Wilson as bad as he appears from the outside? I admit, when he came out of BYU, I thought he was going to be really good. What are his issues? Is he fixable?

Jets Wire: I think a lot of Wilson’s issues come down to coaching. We’ve seen some of the upside at times this season when he’s allowed to really throw the football and use his legs. A better offensive system that could be more revolved around him would likely at least give him a decent chance to salvage his career. This was an offense that was tailored to Rodgers while Wilson was sort of in the backseat, and the coaching staff had to adjust and hasn’t pulled it off.

Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson look like future stars for the Jets. Are there any other New York offensive weapons to know about?

Jets Wire: Tyler Conklin is one of the more underrated tight ends in the league. He’s second on the team in receiving and has quietly been a steady presence in the offense. And now the Jets are also starting to bring along Jeremy Ruckert more, their third-round pick from 2022, whom they’ve been very high on. The Jets can now really run some successful 12 or 22 personnel.

The Jets have playmakers at every level of their defense. What would you say their strength is on defense? Who are the pass rushers to worry about?

Jets Wire: They are certainly very strong at all three levels, but up front is their meat and potatoes. Between Quinnen Williams stuffing the run and getting an excellent pass rush from guys like Jermaine Johnson and Bryce Huff (14.5 combined sacks), the Jets can attack you in many ways up front. Losing Quinton Jefferson and his six sacks will sting, though.

Is there an area the Commanders offense can exploit?

Jets Wire: If Sam Howell can attack the deep middle, there’s potential as the “weakest” spot on defense would probably be safety. Jordan Whitehead can be up and down at times. So maybe if they find a way to get Terry McLaurin or another receiver out deep, they have a shot

Who wins and why?

Jets Wire: I really feel like the Commanders are going to surprise this one. We’ve seen the story of “the movable object vs. the resistible force,” but with Trevor Siemian likely starting at quarterback, the offense is even more worrisome than before. Let’s take the Commanders, 17-10

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.