New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions: Keys to Victory


Good morning Jets fans. In just over 24 hours, Geno Smith, Chris Ivory, and the rest of our New York Jets take on Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, and the rest of the Detroit Lions. The Jets, coming off the loss Monday night to the Bears, bring their 1-2 record into this one, to face the 2-1 Lions, who are coming off of a win over the Green Bay Packers.

We know that this is going to be a tough one. The Jets have some key guys banged up in Muhammad Wilkerson, Eric Decker, and Dee Milliner. The Lions offense is a potent one, with great weapons at Matthew Stafford’s disposal such as Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, and Joique Bell.

It will be tough, but the Jets can win this one. Here are some keys to the game.

Dec 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and wide receiver

Kris Durham

(18) stand around during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Giants beat the Lions 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

CONTAIN CALVIN JOHNSON: Notice I didn’t say “stop” Calvin Johnson. Simply put, does anyone really think that this crop of defensive backs are going to be able to stop Calvin Johnson? The guy is averaging almost 110 yards per game so far. We don’t have Antonio Cromartie and/or Darrelle Revis anymore. They are not going to stop him. But if they can keep him in front of them, the Jets will have a chance. If he starts breaking off huge plays, it will be a long day.

Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

FINISH DRIVES: Believe it or not, but despite the fact that the Jets have had troubles in the red zone, and all of the weapons the Lions have, the teams have put up nearly identical point production so far in 2014. The Lions average 20.3 points per game, and the Jets have averaged 20.7. The Jets have averaged 276.3 yards per game, while the Lions have averaged 364.3.

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The difference is that if the Jets could finish drives, their scoring output would even be higher. One touchdown in six trips to the red zone is not going to get it done against the Lions, or any team in this league very often. If the Jets can turn deep drives into seven points, each time, the Jets have a good shot here. If the result is field goals or worse, it is going to be a long afternoon at MetLife.

Sep 14, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan greets New York Jets linebacker

Quinton Coples

(98) before game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

GET TO MATTHEW STAFFORD: We talked about this during the week, but it deserves repeating. When your secondary is weak, and you are going up against strong offensive weapons, get to the quarterback. Give him looks that he is not familiar with, and get your pass rush up the field, and into his face. No quarterback likes pressure, and Matthew Stafford is no different.

So far, out of 40 dropbacks under pressure, Matthew Stafford has completed 40% of his passes. Obviously, that would work to the Jets’ advantage.

So, what are your keys to the game?