The Jets have a tough ladder to climb in their final game before the bye week break. The New Orleans Saints are 6-1, and riding high coming off of a 35-17 win over the Buffalo Bills at home. Rob Ryan has the defense playing at a high level, and Drew Brees is, well, Drew Brees.
After the way they looked against Andy Dalton last week, there is no doubt that Drew and company are licking their chops. The defense had best to improve, and do so quickly, otherwise it will get ugly really fast.
So for our early thoughts, I pose this question: How do you solve a problem like Drew Brees?
Well, you don’t really stop Drew Brees. It’s like they used to say on Sportscenter, “You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him”. And it’s true. A guy throwing to a 65% completion rate, and only five interceptions is not a guy you are going to stop. So, how do we contain him?
We stop the people around him, that’s how.
First of all, we pressure the quarterback. For all of the great throws that Drew makes, the Saints’ offensive line hasn’t kept him completely clean once so far this year. Drew has been sacked 18 times over the first seven games, which puts him on a pace to nearly 40 sacks for the season. My point is, this quarterback can be hit. The Jets have the personnel, finally, to get pressure on this quarterback. Mo, Quinton, you guys are up. Go get him.
Next, get physical with every single one of his weapons. If Jimmy Graham plays, hit him early and often. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Kenny Stills,..etc. Hit them all. They are on the line, you hit them. Everything the Jets didn’t do against Cincinnati, they have to do on Sunday. These receivers cannot get a clean release from the line. Not once. Make them do something different from what Drew is used to. Make him uncomfortable when guys aren’t where they should be.
Finally, for God’s sake, don’t let Darren Sproles get out in space. if he gets the ball with room to roam, the Jets are in big trouble. Sproles is just the type of back that has given the Jets, even under coach Ryan, fits. Speed backs that can get around the corner are tough for them.
The Jets are number one in rushing defense in 2013. They finally have the team that can stop this guy. On the other hand, he has the talent to be the “X factor” in this football game. If he runs it, hold your edges. If he is in the flat, get physical with him too. Get him off his game. Don’t let Drew Brees get comfortable.
The Jets can win this one. We will have a more detailed preview later in the week. But it starts with keeping Drew uncomfortable.
Remember, these guys are good, but not as invincible as you might think. They only scored over 30 points twice so far this season.