Jets TakeOff! Week 13 Preview: New York Jets vs Arizona Cardinals
By Alan Schechter
Nov. 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) hands the ball off to running back Shonn Greene (23) during the first half against the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
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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Nov 11, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Jets running back Shonn Greene (23) carries the ball against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated New York 28-7. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
TIS THE WEEK TO GROUND AND POUND:Although the Cardinals are 4-7, they do have a tough defense, ranked 7th overall, and 4th against the pass. However, this may be the week that the “Ground and Pound” offense really gets its legs going. They have been better of late, and they will have their chance to show it, as the Cardinals are ranked 23rd in the league against the run, giving up 124.2 yards per game, and 4.2 yards per carry. The three headed monster of Shonn Greene, Bilal Powell, and Joe McKnight will have opportunities to run and run hard. The Jets are going to have to establish the run, and stick with it. This team is tough to throw on, and the Jets have had trouble throwing the football as it is, so they will have to get the Arizona defense thinking run. This three headed group can do it.
MISTAKE FREE FOOTBALLThe Cardnals have a good defense, but also have an opportunistic defense. To date, they have recorded 15 interceptions, good for fifth in the league, as well as 11 forced fumbles, recovering 8 of them. Patrick Peterson (4 INT’s) and company attack the football. Even if they didn’t, the Jets have been fairly adept at GIVING AWAY the football. The Jets don’t need any help in that department, but they could have that help if they are not careful. This team attacks, and any bad decisions made by the quarterback or anyone else will be jumped on, and quickly. Good decisions need to be made, and the Jets must play mistake free football, especially on offense. The Jets offense is not good enough to overcome mistakes. But I think you all already knew that.
FORGET THE DISTRACTIONS:You could rename this team the New York Distractions. The articles, the anonymous sources, the list goes on. More recently it’s the Tim Tebow rib injury, and this week, it was the problem with the fans, and the OL coach telling all that he is being dictated who to play. Everything that surrounds the Jets, does a great job at taking away the focus from where it needs to be, on the football field. The Jets are all over the papers, but very rarely are those articles regarding a football game.
The Jets can, at least for the time being, stop that on Sunday. What they have to do is put all of the other “stuff” out of their heads, and just play a complete football game. They are better than this Cardinals team, they need to show it. Forget about ribs, taunting from fans, backup quarterbacks, or anything else. The note to the Jets would be to do something that they haven’t done very often in 2012, and that is PLAY A FOOTBALL GAME. If they play well, everything else will begin to fall into place. If they don’t, it will be another long week for the Jets.
There are your keys to the game. Thanks, as always, for reading.