The Jets won’t have to travel too far in Week 8 even though they are officially on the road. They will stay at ‘home’ to face the Giants at MetLife Stadium in a battle for New York bragging rights.

And this game represents a key run for the Jets as they come out of their bye with renewed hope in the AFC East division race after both the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills lost last week. The next three contests offer a chance for the Jets to put together a run of form as they face the Giants, the Los Angeles Chargers at home and the Raiders in Las Vegas.

The Giants snapped a four-game losing streak last week when beating the Washington Commanders. But the 14-7 scoreline suggests they have yet to fix their offense, even though Saquon Barkley looked back to full strength at running back.

The Big Blue have averaged just 12.1 points per game in 2023 – fewest in the NFL. And they allow an average of 5.3 quarterback sacks per game – second-most in the league. This is a game in which the Jets should be able to stamp their authority on yet another opposing offense.

The likes of Pro Bowlers Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts have struggled against New York’s defense already this season. The Giants have looked livelier in the past couple of games with Tyrod Taylor under center but he is likely to struggle against the Jets defenders who do a very good job of bringing pressure without the need to blitz.

Offensively, the Jets just need a clean game and production from Breece Hall against what is a porous Giants defense against the run. That should be enough to secure Big Apple bragging rights for the fans decked in green and to have Robert Saleh’s team move above .500 for the season.

New York Jets Player to Watch

Quincy Williams – Linebacker… Already a star in New York, Jets linebacker Quincy Williams is starting to get some much-deserved national attention. In the opening six games of the season, Williams has proven himself to be a do-it-all defender, recording 60 tackles, two sacks, five pass deflections, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. 

New York Giants Player to Watch

Saquon Barkley – Running Back… The Giants have really struggled to put points on the board this season and have not been helped by the absence of their Pro Bowl running back for three games with an ankle injury. Barkley showed his value to the Giants in last week’s win over Washington as he compiled a season-high 118 scrimmage yards and scored on a 32-yard catch and run. 

Stat Attack!

According to Next Gen Stats, the Jets have a 41.9 percent QB pressure rate in 2023 (3rd in NFL). The Jets also get home without blitzing with a pressure rate of 37.0 percent when not sending extra defenders (4th in NFL). Giants passers have been pressured on 109 dropbacks in 2023 – 3rd-most in the NFL.

Keys to the game

With limited threats at wide receiver, the Giants are going to lean heavily – as they always do – on running back Saquon Barkley, whether that be on the ground or in the passing game. Quincy Williams is going to be his usual active self in this game and if he can slow Barkley’s progress, who else will the Giants rely on?

Zach Wilson is going to need to handle some of Wink Martindale’s exotic and aggressive blitzing, but only if he and the Jets are forced into obvious passing situations. The preference would be to have a run-heavy game led by Hall, who is averaging 6.5 yards per rush this season – a pace which would see him set a new single season NFL record.

If the Jets are to start a post-bye week march to the playoffs, they absolutely need to win this type of game and I think they match up well across the board against the Giants. If they stay ahead of the chains on offense and play to form on defense, they should get the job done.