Jets TakeOff! Week 5 Preview: New York Jets vs. Houston Texans
By Alan Schechter
Sept 23, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan talks with cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
Week 5 is here, Jets fans, and our preview of the Monday night matchup as Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, JJ Watt, and the rest of the Houston Texans come into MetLife to face Antonio Cromartie and the rest of the New York Jets. The Jets, despite the blowout last week against the 49ers, sit 2-2 and tied on top of the AFC East. The Texans come into the game 4-0, coming off a 38-14 win over the Tennessee Titans.
The history of this series is very simple, the Jets lead 5-0. The Texans serve as the only team that the New York Jets have never lost a game to. That being said, we all know that it is not going to be a walk in the park tomorrow night. No Darrelle Revis, no Santonio Holmes, and poor performances on both sides of the football make this football game a tough one. Not too many give the Jets a chance in this one. Here are some keys to give the Jets a chance:
ANTONIO CROMARTIE MUST WIN MATCHUP VS ANDRE JOHNSON
Antonio Cromartie will be up against Johnson for most of, if not the entire game. Normally, I wouldn’t make this a major key, as guys have put up big numbers against the Jets before, and the Jets have won. Stevie Johnson has been the only guy to beat Darrelle Revis, and the Jets have still won the games. But in this case, it’s a matchup the Jets HAVE to win.
The reason is the play of the Jets offense. It’s not exactly bursting with firepower, as well have seen in bright green and white colors. The Jets put up 48 points in the season opener, and 30 points over the next three games. The offense has been putrid, plain and simple. If Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson hook up for some quick scores, this game is going to be over before it starts. For the Jets to have any chance in this one, they are going to have to keep it close, and that means keeping Andre Johnson out of the boxscore as much as possible. We need “Good Cro”, from the opening kickoff until the final gun.
STOP JJ WATT
This one is pretty obvious. JJ Watt has recorded 7.5 sacks so far in 2012, putting him on a pace for a record breaking 30 sacks. The Jets as a unit have 5 sacks for the season. JJ Watt is a pass rushing machine in 2012. We have all seen how Mark Sanchez looks under duress. He is not exactly adept at improvisation. He must have a solid pocket in order to make the throws. If JJ Watt blows up the Jets pocket tomorrow night, it’s over.
September 30, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (23) prepares for a game against the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
WIN THE RUNNING ATTACK ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL
This is the major key to the football game. Forget about Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, and anything else. The key to this game is going to be the battle in the trenches. The front seven of the Houston Texans vs the front seven of the New York Jets will the determine the winner of this football game. It starts with the defense for the Jets.
The Jets are ranked 31st in the NFL against the run. Very un Rex-like, and coach is not happy out it, and neither is this team. Arian Foster has racked up 2 100 yard games in the first four. Ben Tate has chipped in 3.9 yards per carry as well, although he is listed as questionable for the game at the time of this report. If the Jets defense can play back to form, get off their blocks, and make tackles against the run, they can keep the team in the game. If they continue with their new practice of arm tackling, this game will be over fast.
Same thing goes for the Jets running attack. We all know how bad it has been to date. Shonn Greene has averaged an eye-popping 2.8 yards per carry. Bilal Powell has been better, with a 3.8 yard per carry average, but hasn’t gotten enough time to make a real difference. The offensive line, as we have talked about previously, is not firing off the line and opening up any holes for the backs to run through. The “Ground and Pound” attack has been anything but. For the Jets to have any chance in the ball game, it has to start working.
The Jets can’t get into a shooting match with this team. If that happens, this game will get ugly, probably uglier than last week. The Jets will have to be able to run the football in order to have a chance in this one.
There are your keys to the game. We shall see tomorrow night.