Why Facing the Rams This Week Will Be Even More of a Nightmare For Darnold, Jets

After scoring three points against the Seahawks last weekend, New York might be lucky to get three on the board this time around against the Rams.
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If quarterback Sam Darnold and the Jets offense struggled as much as they did against the Seahawks' defense, this Sunday's matchup with the Los Angeles Rams might get even uglier. 

Darnold managed to throw for 132 yards against Seattle's defense this past weekend. That's only 132 yards—with no touchdowns—against the NFL's worst defense at defending the pass.

That's right. Even after padding their stats by facing the Jets in Week 14, the Seahawks still have the highest average of passing yards allowed per game in the league (294.8).

This weekend, Darnold and the Jets return to the West Coast for a showdown with the Rams (9-4), a team that happens to be the best in football at limiting opposing aerial attacks. Through 13 games, the Rams have allowed a league-best 191.7 yards per game through the air.

Yes, over 100 fewer yards than the Seahawks.

Sure, averages don't tell the entire story. Darnold didn't have rookie wideout Denzel Mims available in the blowout loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, a rookie that's been a spark for New York's offense since his debut in Week 7. He's set to return after missing one week due to a family emergency. It's also worth noting that wide receiver Jamison Crowder was limited in his snaps on Sunday, dealing with a calf injury. 

Then again, if the Jets couldn't get absolutely anything going in the passing game against the league's worst, it's hard to envision this group making a drastic improvement against the very best. 

After all, New York has averaged 269.8 yards of total offense per game and 14.1 points per game. Those are by far the lowest totals in the National Football League this season.

What about the running game? Maybe if the Jets can establish the run early on, as they did in their gut-wrenching loss to the Raiders two weeks ago, the passing game will follow.

Well, it just so happens that the Rams are among the best of the best at stopping the run too. Los Angeles allows, on average, only 94.2 yards per game on the ground. The most rushing yards this Rams defense has allowed in a single game was 136 (to the Giants and Cowboys within the first four weeks of the season).

Finally, to make matters even worse, the Rams are elite at sacking opposing quarterbacks. Led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald (and his NFL-best 12.5 sacks), the Rams have 42 this season. That's third-most in the league.

In other words, Darnold and the Jets' offense don't just have to bounce back from a nightmarish performance, they've got to do it against arguably the best defense in the sport. 

Oh, and if they can't, New York will fall to 0-14. How's that for pressure to perform?

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