By Conor Perrett 

Twenty months ago, the Jaguars and Jets held the first and second overall draft pick in the 2021 Draft. 

Both teams selected quarterbacks, Trevor Laurence and Zach Jones, who will  now play each other in a Week 16 game that has huge playoff implications to their respective seasons. 

The Jets are looking to get back on track after losing three-in-a-row, while Lawrence has taken the Jaguars to a position, where a win could put them joint top of their division in the AFC South and still having to play the Tennessee Titans on their schedule in Week 18. 

New York Jets (7-7)

Power Rankings – 13th

DVOA Rankings: Offence – 19th, Defence – 6th, ST – 26th; Overall – 10th 

After a fast start to the season, the Jets’ prospects have been rapidly fading away, after losing three on the bounce and four of their last five games. 

Zach Wilson, the second overall pick from them 20 months ago, has had a tough time of things in his second season. He was recently benched in favour of Mike White, but when White went down with rib fractures 10 days ago, Wilson has been tasked to step back into the role of starting QB.

His first start back last weekend against the Lions did not go to complete plan, with multiple open receivers missed, but he showed the ability to extend plays and get a big chunk of yards from them. Now he faces a defence on the decline that struggles particularly in stopping the pass. 

One huge positive for New York, will be the expected return of Quinnen Williams. Williams has been a terror from the interior defensive line, leading the league in pressure and sacks from his position. It’s one of the main reasons the Jets defence has been so successful this season. They’ve been great all year against the run and pass, and will give Trevor Lawrence a hard time of things.

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8)

Power Rankings – 12th

DVOA Rankings: Offence – 8th, Defence – 28th, ST – 12th; Overall – 16th 

Jacksonville has been on a surge over the last month that has seen them climb within a game of Tennessee for the top spot in the AFC South. Quarterback Lawrence has been the driving force behind this turnaround, ranking third in EPA per dropback since Week 9.

Trev enters Thursday’s game with a passer rating over 106 in five of his past six games while throwing 14 touchdowns to only one interception during that stretch. 

The Jets will be no easy competitors, taking pride in shutting down the best QB’s in the game all year. The clash between the pair will be back and forward, but it may be a tougher battle than most people might think.


This game will showcase two young teams that are both on the rise in the AFC, with the fate of each team’s playoff chances on the line.

The Jaguars, to the surprise of many, will open the game as underdogs. People will look to their win against the Cowboys this past Sunday to show how far Lawrence has come, but this Jets defence is better. The secondary plays tight coverage all day and won’t allow anything to beat them twice. 

Both Zach Wilson and the Jaguar’s defence have the ability to win them the game, but though I may sound crazy, I don’t see Jacksonville’s defence causing too many issues for Wilson. Wilson will likely hamper himself by throwing an interception or two, but the Jets’ defence will win this for them.

On a cold night in New York, this defence will be up for stopping a rising star in the game in Trevor Laurence and I believe they will close it out in a low scoring affair.

Jaguars 16-17 Jets 

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