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Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Jets: Prediction, preview, pick to win

By The Sports Xchange
Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Jets: Prediction, preview, pick to win
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson (10) celebrates his nine-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys' at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington on August 25, 2016. The Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-17. Photo by Jim Bryant/UPI | License Photo

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. TV: FOX, Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver.

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SERIES HISTORY: 19th regular-season meeting. Seahawks lead series, 10-8. Seattle has won the last two regular-season meetings, but has not beaten the Jets in New York since Sept. 1983. The Jets' 32-31 win over Seattle in 1998 helped bring instant replay back to the NFL as Vinny Testaverde was credited with a 5-yard touchdown run when only his helmet crossed the goal line.

GAMEDATE: 10/2/16

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KEYS TO THE GAME: The Seahawks struggled to move the ball against the strong defensive lines of Miami and Los Angeles to open the season, and the offense could be in for another tough day against a Jets defense ranked third against the run. With QB Russell Wilson dealing with left knee and right ankle injuries, the read-option and rollouts so important to coach Darrell Bevell's playbook will likely be limited. RB Christine Michael (5.2 yards per carry) will again be the workhorse with Thomas Rawls sidelined, and staying out of constant third-and-long situations will be critical.

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The Jets need production out of their ground game, with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick coming off a six-interception debacle at Kansas City last week. RB Matt Forte is averaging 3.9 yards per carry and always brings a versatile weapon as a receiver out of the backfield. Seattle allows only 3.5 yards per carry and, while the Seahawks have only one interception on the season, the Jets know they will be gambling if Fitzpatrick is forced to push the ball downfield on long passing downs.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

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--Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham vs. Jets SS Calvin Pryor. After Chiefs TE Travis Kelce burned the Jets for six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, Pryor tweeted, "I have to perform better." Graham is finally close to 100 percent following surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon and is coming off his first game as a Seahawk with 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.

--Seahawks DT Tony McDaniel vs. Jets LG James Carpenter. A former first-round pick by the Seahawks, Carpenter signed a four-year, $19.1 million contract with the Jets in 2015. He'll be familiar with McDaniel, who re-signed with the Seahawks in August. And Seattle will move Michael Bennett and others inside to test Carpenter's agility on obvious passing downs.

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INJURY REPORT: SEAHAWKS -- Out: RB Thomas Rawls (fibula). Questionable: TE Jimmy Graham (knee, back), LB Michael Morgan (hip), RB C.J. Prosise (wrist), DT Jarran Reed (hip), TE Nick Vannett (ankle). JETS -- Out: WR Eric Decker (shoulder), WR Jalin Marshall (shoulder), QB Bryce Petty (right shoulder). Questionable: LB Bruce Carter (ankle), T Ryan Clady (shoulder)

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Jets WR Brandon Marshall is dealing with a sore knee and may not always have Richard Sherman shadowing him. Eric Decker won't play due to a shoulder injury, which leaves New York without an almost equally as dangerous threat on the other side of the field. Marshall could have a good opportunity to have a big impact if he works mostly against DeShawn Shead and Jeremy Lane.

FAST FACTS: Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin has 13 touchdowns in his last nine regular-season games. ... The Jets are 10-7 all-time against the franchise's former coaches (Sammy Baugh, Bruce Coslet, Pete Carroll, Bill Parcells, Herman Edwards, Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan) who have opposed them. Carroll was the Jets' coach in 1994.

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PREDICTION: Just as Wilson was getting over an ankle injury, he suffered a sprained knee against San Francisco last week. With limited mobility against St. Louis' stout defensive line in Week 2, Wilson managed to lead the offense to a mere three points. The Jets also boast a deep and talented D-line that will help control the field position -- as long as Fitzpatrick can avoid another rash of turnovers.

OUR PICK: Jets, 20-13.

--Derek Harper

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