Saturday morning, and the “Road to MetLife Stadium” gets ready to continue tomorrow. Ivory, Holmes, Kerley and the rest of the New York Jets take the trip south from MetLife Stadium to face Cam Newton, Steve Smith, and the rest of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are 9-4, coming off a 31-13 loss at the hands of the Saints. The Jets are coming off a win over the Oakland Raiders, hanging on the fringe of the playoff race with a 6-7 record.
The Panthers have taken over a position that the Jets have been accustomed to filling, top rushing defense in the NFL. This will be a tough task in Carolina, but the Jets can get it done. Here are some keys to victory:
BLITZ CAM NEWTON: We talked about this earlier in the week. Knock the quarterback off of his spot, and he will be less of a success. Don’t, give the quarterback all the time he needs to do whatever he wants, and your team will have a long afternoon of football. This is very true with Cam Newton. We saw that his passer rating goes down by approximately half when he is being blitzed.
This must be done for the Jets to be successful.
GET SHORT PASSING GAME GOING: It won’t be easy to get the running game going for either team, especially when your opponent is the number one team. The Jets will need the passing game to open up the running lanes. But, the Panthers are fifth against the pass, now what? Well, look closer at the numbers.
They may be fifth overall in the category, but the completion percentage given up is over 67 %, but only 13 TDs. They can be beaten in the short pass game. It’s a good thing there is an offensive system based on short passes. Remember? It’s called the West Coast offense.
CONTINUED GOOD GENO: The final one is an obvious one. Geno Smith put together one of his most efficient games of the season last week against the Raiders. The Panthers are tied for fifth in the league in interceptions with 16, so if Geno plays poorly, Carolina will take advantage. The Jets can win if Geno Smith makes good decisions.
This will be the toughest game of the Jets’ final three. We shall see tomorrow how it turns out.