Sep 21, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiverCalvin Johnson
(81) makes a catch while being pushed out of bounds by Green Bay Packers cornerbackDavon House
(31) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
This one is going to be tough on Sunday afternoon at MetLife. There is a guy out there going to make it that way. He has posted 100 or more yards receiving in 22 out of his last 36 games. Since 2011, he leads NFL with 321 catches, 5,466 rec. yards & 111.6 rec. yards per game. He should be the focus of any team’s game plan, thanks to his prowess. He is number #81, wide receiver, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.
So, how to the Jets stop this guy? O.K., they don’t stop him, how do they contain him, so he doesn’t destroy the afternoon all on his own. Well, let’s think about this for a minute. Calvin Johnson is 6’5″ tall. The tallest Jets player playing cornerback currently is Antonio Allen. His height? 6’1″.
Rex Ryan has to remember that he doesn’t have Darrelle Revis or Antonio Cromartie on his roster anymore. He does not have big guys anymore on the outside. Antonio Allen is doing what he can, as is Darrin Walls. But they are not the “shutdown” corners that he is accustomed to having. Megatron will have a field day with the Jets man to man.
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So, now what? Rex Ryan must get “exotic” with the looks. Last week, they showed some looks that Jay Cutler had not seen on tape. Heck, they were so strange that even Jon “Spider 2 Y Banana” Gruden couldn’t describe. If Stafford hasn’t seen it, Megatron likely hasn’t seen it either. To put it simply, it makes the receiver uncomfortable with the route, and he can’t get comfortable and consistently burn the Jets deep.
They must get physical as well. Megatron cannot be allowed off of the line of scrimmage without a hand on him. Even though the Jets’ corners are not big, effective physical play will help. The idea is to throw off the timing. If they can bump Megatron and disrupt the timing for even half a second, it can make the difference. Megatron will have his catches, but if they keep him in front of them, the Jets have a fighting chance.
Finally, they must figure out a way to get to Matthew Stafford. When he has been under pressure so far, Stafford has completed 40% of his passes, and been sacked seven times. Stafford can be brought down, and that will take the pressure off of the secondary to stay with Megatron.
It won’t be easy, but it can be done.