The Jets take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in a week 2 matchup on Sunday afternoon at Metlife Stadium. Here are some keys to the game.
UP TEMPO OFFENSE
Take a look at the game last Monday night. The offense, for a good part of the game, was anemic. Mark Sanchez and the gang couldn’t get out of their own way. The running game could not get going, and the receivers looked completely on a different page from their quarterback. When were they at their best? In the two minute drill. Mark Sanchez is terrific under pressure, as we have come to learn over the past couple of years. He clearly has a command of the offense, and that shows when he is in charge, making check-offs on the fly, moving at a fast pace. They really need to keep this in the game plan, similarly to how the Bengals used to use it under Boomer Esiason. They have shown by letting the ball fly that they will take the reigns off of Mark, continue to do so by letting him lead.
GROUND AND POUND
The Jets are not going to make a living as a run and shoot offense. Mark Sanchez is great but he is not Warren Moon. He is not Dan Fouts. He has great weapons does Mr. Sanchez, but he does not have the weapons that these great QBs had, in order to support that type of offense. Whether they like it or not, their identity is ground and pound. They are going to have to try to establish the run early with Shonn Greene. The Jaguars did a good job against the run vs. the Titans last week, allowing only 43 yards rushing and 3.3 yards per carry. The offensive line, which had a brutal outing last week, needs to win the battle at the line of scrimmage on Sunday. Wayne Hunter needs to have a bounce back game, and he won’t have Demarcus Ware to deal with, so odds are in his favor. The bread and butter of ground and pound is the offensive line, and Nick Mangold and company need to show up on Sunday.
STOP THE TE
The Jets have had a well documented problem with stopping tight ends, and week 1 was no exception. We all saw the game that Jason Witten had, with 6 catches for 110 yards, and was a Jim Leonhard tackle away from icing the game. Marcedes Lewis is not guaranteed to play on Sunday, and I am sure the Jets are hoping that he doesn’t. He is a big weapon over the middle, his best year being last year, with 58 catches for 700 yards and 10 TDs. Whether he plays or not, this is an exposed weakness of the Jets, the middle of the field. They need to stop it or Luke McCown will have a field day.
CRANK UP THE DEFENSE
Remember the now famous quote by Bart Scott? When he said that the Patriots “couldn’t stop a nosebleed”? Well for a good part of the game the other night, the Jets fell under that category. They allowed 390 net yards, and 5.9 yards per play, which is obviously too much. If we have an elite defense, and if you ask the coach we do, they need to step it up, and that starts on Sunday. The biggest test will be to stop Maurice Jones-Drew, who showed last week that he has recovered from his surgery, rushing 24 times for 97 yards and a 21 yard touchdown. They will need to stop the run, hopefully their top run stopper, David Harris, will be able to go. Stop the run, force Luke McCown to beat you.
Enjoy the game Sunday Jets fans, see you on the other side.