After what felt like their worst loss in years, the Seahawks will get the softest possible landing to bounce back Sunday — a visit from the 0-12 New York Jets, the NFL’s last winless team.

The Seahawks are a 13.5-point favorite, the most the Seahawks have been favored since they were 14-point favorites against visiting Arizona in 2018.

But last week showed that anything can happen, as the Seahawks lost as double-digit favorites for the first time since 2015 (at home against the Rams).

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll revived one of his old sayings this week, calling the Jets game “a championship matchup.”

And indeed, they pretty much all are at this point for the Seahawks, who can’t afford any more stumbles if they want to win the NFC West.

On to some keys to the game:

Matchup to watch 

Seahawks safety Jamal Adams vs. Jets safety Marcus Maye

OK, so this is not a matchup of players who will face each other. We could have said Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams against the left side of the Seahawks offensive line, or Seattle ends Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa against standout rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton. But all eyes will be on Adams, who played three years for the Jets before forcing a trade. And in New York, there will be comparisons to Maye, a free safety who arrived the same year as Adams. And in the view of some he is the better player to build a secondary around. Maye is the NFL’s fourth-ranked safety this season by Pro Football Focus, and Adams is 50th. Adams won’t have Gregg Williams — who was the Jets’ defensive coordinator before being fired this week following a disastrous blitz call against the Raiders — to kick around Sunday. But he will want make some points to the Jets organization.


Player to watch

QB Russell Wilson

Wilson has gone through mini-slumps before. But given how well he started the season — on pace to set an NFL record for touchdown passes in a season — this one seems more out of the blue (in 2016 he was battling several well-chronicled injuries). Wilson has been sacked 21 times in the past five games, including five last week, and on several seemed to have time to get rid of the ball (according to PFF, he has averaged 3.2 seconds to throw the past four games, the longest in the NFL). Decision making has always been one of the best parts of Wilson’s game, and it’s one he needs to return to its usual state.

Coaching decision to watch

To run or not to run?
It feels like the Seahawks’ offensive balance has been an almost weekly topic this season. It is so again after the faceplant against the Giants, when the Seahawks handed the ball to running backs Chris Carson (13) and Carlos Hyde (two) just 15 times in 70 plays. For all their failings, the Jets have been pretty good against the run, ranked third in yards allowed per carry at just 3.8. New York has been far worse against the pass at 7.4 per attempt, 31st in the league. So that might mean the Seahawks should come out throwing as much as they did last week. But the change in coordinators could mean the Jets won’t be quite as blitz happy (they are third in the NFL in blitz percentage at 40.5, via Pro Football Reference), and could mean the Seahawks will have to grind things out a bit more. Either way, expect them to run more — and specifically with Carson — than last week.

The X-factor 

A third receiving threat

The Seahawks’ offense has not gotten much lately from receivers other than DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. That’s not an issue when Metcalf and Lockett are putting up huge numbers. But they needed someone else to step up last week. David Moore has just eight catches for 21 yards in the past four games — and for the season has made a catch of longer than nine yards in only two games — and rookie Freddie Swain has only three catches for 37 yards in the past seven games (all in the loss to the Rams). The Seahawks get Josh Gordon back after two more games. In the meantime, getting something out of someone else would provide a boost. Each has dealt with nagging injuries the last few weeks, but neither was on the injury report this week.

Players who could surprise

Tight ends Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister 

The Jets have allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends, most in the NFL, and 772 yards, third most. The Seahawks have just three touchdowns from its tight ends this season. But with Greg Olsen sidelined, Dissly and Hollister have been used more. Dissly had a season-high four catches against the Giants, and Hollister has five catches on 10 targets the last two weeks. Neither has a touchdown since early October.

Key stat

5 of 12

That’s the Seahawks’ red-zone scoring — five touchdowns on 12 trips inside the 20-yard line — in the past four games. They were 9 for 9 and 22 for 25 in the red zone before tailing off. Last week the Seahawks were 0 for 1. They reached the Giants’ 13 on their first drive and threw three incomplete passes before settling for a field goal. They didn’t run a play inside the Giants’ 20 the rest of the game. That’s got to get better. Some recent failures fall on Wilson. His three interceptions in the red zone are tied for the NFL lead, though it’s worth noting his 21 touchdowns in the red zone are third highest. Getting Carson back should allow the Seahawks to grind out the tough yards close to the end zone better.

The final word 

Seahawks 31, Jets 13

Last week was one of the more worrisome Seahawks performances in years, given the stakes and that health seemed to be trending in the right direction (and with the Giants starting a backup QB). But such is life in the NFL. If the Seahawks can’t bounce back strongly against the Jets then, yes, panic away. The guess here is they will rebound with a fairly comfortable win against a Jets team that seems to be playing hard but isn’t at the Giants’ level.