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Week 16 Game Preview - Commanders @ Jets

Week 16 - Washington Commanders (4-10) @ New York Jets (5-9)


Nuts & Bolts 

  • Date: December 24, 2023

  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET 

  • Venue: MetLife Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ

  • How to Watch: CBS

  • Matchup History: Washington leads all-time series 8-4

  • Last Meeting: New York def. Washington 34-17 on 11/17/19

  • Betting Lines: Via DraftKings

  • Spread: Washington +3

  • Over/Under: 37.5

  • Prediction: Washington 23, New York 21 

  • Official Game Notes: HERE

  • Follow Along on Twitter 

  • Zach Penrice - DMV Sports: https://twitter.com/Zach_DMVSports 

 

  • Head Coach: Ron Rivera (4th season, 26-37-1 record in Washington) 

  • Record: 4-10 (0-5, 4th in NFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost @ LA Rams 28-20 on 12/17/23

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Terry McLaurin 


It’s the 32nd ranked Washington Commanders defense vs. the 32nd ranked New York Jets offense in Sunday’s Christmas Eve battle in East Rutherford, NJ. 


Washington is 4-10, mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, and is more than likely just three weeks away from making dramatic leadership changes across the coaching staff. 


Head Coach Ron Rivera’s team has lost four games in a row and six of the last seven it’s played, with the lone win coming against the three win New England Patriots. 


New Owner Josh Harris is most-assuredly going to want to implement his own coach to take over at season's end for Rivera, who does have a Super Bowl appearance from his days in Carolina, but has put together just three winning seasons in 13 as an NFL head coach. 


The Commanders have young pieces at key positions, most notably Sam Howell at quarterback. In his first season as the starter, Howell has thrown for 3,568 yards, which is 7th in the NFL. His problem has been turnovers and sacks; he’s thrown a league-high 15 interceptions and has suffered a league-high 59 sacks this year. 


Next year, Howell will be under the microscope regardless of who the head coach is. For as much good as there is, there is just as much bad from the second year QB from North Carolina. 


On defense, the Commanders have been abysmal. Washington’s defense ranks dead last in the NFL in yards allowed per game, is the worst passing defense in the league and is last in points allowed per game (30.2), which is nearly four more points per game than any other team. 


The team ranks 32nd in the league in turnover differential as well (-9), and has forced the fifth fewest takeaways in the NFL.


With a defensive head coach as the helm, these kinds of numbers are completely unacceptable and is likely a big reason why the offense has struggled at times. 


When you have to score 30 per game to have a chance to win, there’s simply too much pressure on the quarterback to perform, particularly when he’s as young as Howell, who has thrown more passes than any quarterback in the league this year. 


If the defense can get things cleaned up a bit down the home stretch of the season as we look ahead to 2023, I’ll be keeping an eye on how the offense and Howell perform when and if the pressure is off a bit to score every possession. 


For now, try to enjoy what is likely the last winnable game Washington has this year. Next week, the Commanders host San Francisco, who likely will be playing to clinch the top seed in the NFC. 


The following week, they’ll host Dallas, which is still in the hunt for the NFC East title with Philadelphia. 

 

  • Head Coach: Robert Saleh (3rd season, 16-32 record in New York) 

  • Record: 5-9 (1-4, 3rd in AFC East)

  • Last Time Out: Lost @ Miami 30-0 on 12/17/23

  • Highlights HERE

  • Player to Watch: Trevor Siemian


Late Friday morning it was announced by the Jets that Zach Wilson remained in concussion protocol and that Trevor Siemian would be the starting quarterback. 


It’ll be his first start of the season. 


"I’m super grateful," said Siemian, who hasn't won a start in six years. "At this point in my career especially, any chance I get to play is awesome."


Despite not starting in six years, Siemian has appeared in two games this year for the Jets, completing 5 of 13 passes for 66 yards against Atlanta and going 14 of 26 for 110 yards and 2 interceptions last week in the 30-0 loss to Miami after Wilson suffered a concussion. 


This matchup between Washington and New York features the 32nd ranked Jets offense against the 32nd ranked Commanders defense. 


The stoppable force against the movable object. 


In Week 16, this is the only game that features two teams that are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, with New York missing out for the 13th consecutive season. 


For a year that started with so much promise for the Jets, it’s been another wildly disappointing campaign. 


Like Washington this year, the Jets coaching staff will be under immense pressure entering next season to deliver, assuming everyone is finally back to full health.

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