Although mathematically in the playoff race, the season for “pride” basically begins tomorrow as Shonn Greene, Mark Sanchez, and the rest of the New York Jets take on the Beanie Wells, Larry Fitzgerald, and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals. Both teams enter the game with identical 4-7 records, and both coming off double digit losses. We don’t need to discuss the loss that the Jets are coming off of, we have done more than enough of that. The Rams beat the Cardinals last week 31-17. Let’s look at some keys to the game:
CROMARTIE VS FITZGERALD:Even without Darrelle Revis, it still is a marquee matchup on the outside. Like Sean said in his Cardinals review yesterday, if the Jets put anyone else other than Cro on Fitz, they are forfeiting the game. This is going to be a major matchup in the game, and one that Cromartie and the Jets have to win. We all have seen how Cromartie has stepped up to fill the shoes of Darrele Revis. Fitzgerald has not exactly been having the season of his life, with only 55 catches for 627 yards and 4 TDs, but a lot of that can be attributed to the uncertainties the Cardinals have at the quarterback position. That being said, Fitz is explosive, and can be a game changer if given the chance. Cro can not give him that chance.
STOP THE GROUND GAME:Beanie Wells has returned from injury, and although he didn’t have a huge game, he did score Arizona’s two TDs. We have seen the Jets have their troubles getting a handle on an opponent’s ground game, although they have been better lately. Stop the ball on the ground, or it will be a long day.
PRESSURE ON THE QB:This has been a major issue all season long, and for many years. Rex Ryan actually called the lack of sacks “alarming”, so he is not thrilled. But, it is going to be important to get pressure on the quarterback, whether it is Ryan Lindley or Kevin Kolb. Give a young quarterback different looks, and disguise those coverages so he doesn’t get in a rhythm, and the Jets will have a chance tomorrow.
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