SPOTLIGHT: ELLIS LANKSTER
As mentioned earlier, Rob Gronkowski is out for tonight’s game, a huge break for the New York Jets. He has scored 4 touchdowns in the last two games against the Jets. Aaron Hernandez likely will play, but even if he does, he is likely to not be at 100%. The outside wide receivers aren’t the scariest in the league, so that leaves one major weapon, Wes Welker.
Reports have indicated that Ellis Lankster has drawn the assignment of covering Wes Welker. They are the same height, 5’9″. Welker makes his living by finding open spots down the seam and over the middle and breaking off yards after the catch. Lankster is going to have to be physical, knock Wes off his route, and limit his damage on the evening. Combine that with the linebackers and safeties getting physical with the tight ends, and the Jets have a chance by making Brady work to the outsid of the hashmarks.
GET PRESSURE ON THE QUARTERBACK
Mo Wilkerson needs another huge game tonight. He has finally started to show his potential, forcing a fumble in each of the last two games. He looked like a force to be reckoned with when executing the strip sack on Sam Bradford last week. Wilkerson need to get in Brady’s face early and often. Tom, like any other quarterback, is at his least effective when pressure is in his face. We have seen the Jets win with pressure on the quarterback. Do it, and the Jets will have a real shot tonight
WIN THE BATTLE ON SPECIAL TEAMS
We have seen, all too often lately, what poor special teams play can do. Last time these two teams met, the momentum of the entire football game changed when the Jets allowed Devin McCourty to run back a 104 yard kickoff return for a TD. We have seen blocked field goals, blocked punts, and dropped punts. The Jets special teams unit has been pathetic of late, making some wonder if Mike Westhoff should retire now. Not entertaining THAT discussion, the Jets need to get back to making special teams an advantage of theirs. It could be a single return that can make the difference between a win or a loss.
Here are your keys to the game. Enjoy your families, and enjoy the game tonight.