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Washington Commanders vs NY Jets Week 16: 5 Questions with Gang Green Nation

Here’s everything you need to know about Commanders vs. Jets from Gang Green Nation’s perspective.

Syndication: The Record Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s Week 16 of the 2023 NFL season and the repulsive 4-10 Washington Commanders will be facing an inept 5-9 NY Jets team in New Jersey.

Nothing of note is on the line in this game with the exception of draft position, and perhaps some game metric incentives for the players riding the rest of this season out to the sweet release of the closing whistle in Week 18.

Out of a sense of loyalty to the patrons of Hogs Haven and my fellow writers, I asked MacGregor Wells of Gang Green Nation five questions about the state of the Jets and what to look for in this game.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

1) The Jets season has been almost as depressing as Washington, with high hopes associated with the arrival of Aaron Rodgers in NY quickly dashed when he went down in the first game. What are New York’s likely options leading into next season? Do you think they hold out hope that Rodgers might be able to make a go of it in 2024?

Aaron Rodgers has stated that he’s not only coming back for 2024, he intends to play at least two more seasons, and possibly more. Whether that will turn out to be a good thing for the Jets remains to be seen. The last year Rodgers played more than a few snaps he didn’t perform particularly well, and outside of the freakish, never- aging Tom Brady, there aren’t a lot of examples of NFL quarterbacks excelling past their 40th birthdays.

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2) Since Joe Douglas took the job in NY in 2019, the Jets have never won more than 7 games in a season, and it seems unlikely they’ll exceed that mark this year. Is his seat hot at all? How about Robert Saleh’s job? Is that in jeopardy at all?

The word from Jets beat writers is that Douglas and Saleh will both get a mulligan for this disastrous season since Rodgers was injured, and they will both be returning for the 2024 season. How accurate those rumors turn out to be is anyone’s guess. My own feeling, without any inside knowledge whatsoever, is that these things tend to be fluid. Closing out the season with some wins would probably keep Douglas and Saleh safe. Closing out the season with a bunch of lifeless blowouts like the 30 – 0 defeat to the Dolphins last week could well influence the decision. I think if that were to happen Douglas and Saleh’s seats would be quite hot. But that’s just a guess, based on assumed game results that have yet to happen and may not happen.

Personally, if I were the Jets owner the team would clean house at the end of the season.

2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 4-7 Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

3) At 5-9, according to Tankathon, the Jets currently hold the 7th spot in the 2024 draft. With only 4 wins, Washington firmly controls the number 4 spot. Many Washington fans, myself included, are looking for the team to lose out, in order to secure the best draft position possible. How do you think Jets fans are viewing the final three games of the season?

My experience from years of watching the Jets lose is the fans are roughly equally divided. Many cannot ever root for their team to lose. Many others actively root for tanking as soon as the playoffs are no longer a realistic outcome for the season. I kind of sit in the middle. While I can’t bring myself to watch the games and actively root against my team, once the game is over, if the Jets have lost, I’m at least happy they have improved their draft position.

NFL: DEC 17 Jets at Dolphins Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

4) Tell us a bit about one player, both on offense and defense, who we might not know about, but who you think we should. Who excites you in terms of their potential?

On offense it’s slim pickings. The Jets have two players on offense who are above average NFL starters: Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson. Both are pretty well known to fans around the league. Maybe a guy like Jeremy Ruckert fits the bill. He’s a tight end selected in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL draft. Ruckert has been stuck behind Tyler Conklin, but he’s slowly shown signs of developing into a pretty good NFL tight end. He’s a very good blocker, has good hands, and has above average athleticism for the position. I’d like to see more of him during the games, but stuck as the TE2 in a terrible Jets offense, Ruckert just doesn’t get that many chances to shine.

On defense Bryce Huff is the guy you’ll want to keep an eye on. Huff was originally an UDFA signed by the Jets in 2020. They have gradually increased his role as a pass rush specialist, and Huff now brings as much pressure as a pass rusher as almost anyone in the NFL. His first step is extremely quick, he has elite speed, and he is relentless. I don’t know if the word has gotten out quite yet outside of Jets fans, but Huff has become a force in the pass rush.

5) What are you expecting the final score of the game to be this week? DraftKings Sportsbook has the over/under set at 37. How many points do you expect to be scored overall?

That’s a tough one. The Jets worst in the NFL offense vs the Commanders worst in the NFL defense. Who gets the better (or more fittingly, the worst) of that horrific matchup? It’s a fascinating case of extremely moveable object against highly resistible force.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets defense has mostly done an excellent job shutting down opposing passing games. Washington passes the ball more than any team in the NFL, so my guess is the Jets defense should do well this week in keeping the Commanders’ offense in check. Can the Jets actually put up respectable numbers on offense? I have no idea. The answer is usually an emphatic NO, but perhaps the Commanders’ defense will be more accommodating than other Jets opponents.

I guess I’ll go with a low scoring affair. The Jets defense does well against the Commanders offense, but the Jets offense does its usual incompetence thing. So something like Jets 13, Commanders 10, with the Jets getting the edge because they have home field advantage.

Thanks again to MacGregor for taking time out of his day to answer our questions about the Jets. Be sure to check out MacGregor’s companion piece over at Gang Green Nation.