Why this game is intriguing: None of the reasons to watch this game include finding out about Tim Tebow's magical new and growing role. Safe to say, if that was going to save the Jets' season, it would've been unveiled already. Whether No. 15 takes six snaps or eight isn't that interesting to me. What about the battle between two much-debated pass-rushers, first-round draft picks who are often the subject of comparison? OK, I'm into that. Seattle's Bruce Irvin (the 15th overall pick in April) and Gang Green's Quinton Coples (the 16th) will be measured against each other throughout their careers, and this is their first head-to-head battle in the unfriendly confines of Century Link Field. Really, the reason to check out Jets-Seahawks is to see whether the Jets should be talking about 2012 or 2013. Coming off a bye, Jets coach Rex Ryan said this about his team earlier this week: "We're not sniffing the playoffs." A loss will make that a fact.
After a disappointing first half, the New York Jets are hoping to come out of their bye with a much-improved effort down the stretch.
Coach Rex Ryan, though, knows his team will be in for a tough test at Century Link Field, where the Seattle Seahawks have yet to lose.
The struggling Jets try to turn things around Sunday against a Seattle team looking to extend its best home start in seven seasons.
A week off seemed to come at just the right time for New York (3-5), which fell 30-9 at home to Miami in Week 8 for its fourth loss in five games. The Jets find themselves in a last-place tie with Buffalo in the AFC East but are just two games behind division-leading New England.
"We definitely have the resources to get back into this thing," safety Yeremiah Bell said. "We have the players, we have the coaching staff and we have the 'want to.' The thing is, it's going to be just us on Sundays just going out there and executing."
The Jets need to pick up the pace on both sides of the ball, as they rank 27th in the league with 317.4 yards per game and 24th with an average of 25.0 points allowed.
They're also surely hoping to see Mark Sanchez take better care of the football -- he's thrown five interceptions and fumbled six times in the last five games -- as he faces Pete Carroll, his former coach at Southern California, for the first time.
"We will be doing some different things," Ryan said. "Again, I don't want to get into the specifics of it. I hope you understand that if there's an advantage to be gained, I want to gain that advantage without letting our opponent know. We'll be looking at a lot. There are several things to improve and I'm excited about trying to implement some of these things."
While Ryan appears optimistic about getting on track, the Jets are likely to have their hands full at Seattle. The Seahawks (5-4) defeated Minnesota 30-20 last Sunday, improving to 4-0 at home for the first time since going undefeated on their own field in their Super Bowl season of 2005.
"It's obviously an extremely tough place to play," Ryan said. "Having wins over Dallas, Green Bay, Minnesota and New England at home shows you the task that we have in front of us.
"With that being said, we're gonna roll our sleeves up and go up there ... and give it heck."
In addition to trying to contain Marshawn Lynch, the Jets will need to be wary of rookie Russell Wilson, who threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikings. Wilson has nine TD passes and no interceptions at home, where he's compiled a league-leading 120.2 passer rating.
"I definitely believe we are getting more comfortable; the more you play, the more you practice, the more you communicate through the week," he told the team's official website.
"I think that's the biggest thing, just stay the course and just keep believing in what we're doing."
Lynch could be in for a big day against a Jets defense surrendering 141.4 rushing yards per game to rank 29th in the NFL. The bruising back posted his fifth 100-yard effort of 2012 versus Minnesota with a season-high 124 yards and a TD. His 881 yards on the ground are second in the NFL to Adrian Peterson's 957.
Sitting 1 1/2 games behind NFC West-leading San Francisco, the second-place Seahawks are hoping to carry some momentum into next week's bye.
"We need the rest of these games coming up, and fortunately for us four out of the next seven are at home," said Sidney Rice, who hauled in his third TD reception in four games last weekend. "We use this crowd for energy. We feed off them and we're thankful we have them."
Seattle won't have linebacker K.J. Wright or guard James Carpenter available Sunday after both suffered concussions against Minnesota.
The Seahawks had dropped eight of nine in this series before taking the last matchup 13-3 on Dec. 21, 2008, in the Jets' only visit to Century Link Field.
Sunday marks Marcus Trufant's first matchup against younger brother and fellow cornerback, Isaiah, of New York.