The most critical game of the season will be against Fitz
By Matthew Lownes
The New York Jets hit the road to go up against an old friend. Their Week 10 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is easily the most critical game of the season to finally put some old demons to rest.
He’s baaaaaackkkkkkk. The New York Jets have the opportunity of a lifetime in a season that no one expected. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are forced to start former New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick after Jameis Winston hurt his shoulder and will be out a few weeks.
The Jets are currently 4-5 going into Week 10, but more importantly, could be 5-5 going into their week 11 bye week. If the Jets can manage to beat the Buccaneers, which they should, they’ll be 5-5 and have 13 days to prepare for the Carolina Panthers at home since they’ll finally have their bye week.
What to Watch For
I expect the Jets defensive line to be mad dogs, chasing Ryan Fitzpatrick all day long. The second season with Fitzpatrick didn’t go as well as the first one for the Jets. The locker room blew up, and I have a pretty strong feeling many defensive players for the Jets want to harass Fitzpatrick all day long Sunday. I’m even going to go as far as saying the Jets will have 5 or more sacks in this game.
As if Fitzpatrick and the Buccaneers are already at a disadvantage, wide receiver Mike Evans was suspended for Sunday’s game, and starting left tackle Donovan Smith probably won’t play, which is not a good sign for Fitzpatrick.
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The Jets have a top 10 Quarterback
Wanna hear something crazy? Josh McCown has the 10th best quarterback rating in the NFL and the 19th best QBR. One stat that supports McCown is that he’s 2nd in the NFL in adjusted completion percentage.
One thing the Jets need to do is protect McCown better and he has to try avoiding sacks. He has been sacked a league’s second-worst 26 times.
Offensively, the Jets need to keep doing what they’ve been doing. Throw short passes, get all their running backs involved, go down the field if Robby Anderson or Jermaine Kearse are open, and play safe football.
I expect bigger things out of ArDarius Stewart with the four-game suspension of wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. I also expect the Jets to attack down the field on early downs if given the opportunity.
Unfortunately, Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston will probably miss this game because of his scary neck injury that needed him to be taken off on a stretcher. The Buccaneers season is going downhill fast, and if the Jets can get this huge win going into their bye week, they may even have a chance at the playoffs.
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I have the Jets winning by 13 right now, 23-10 or 27-14, something along those lines. I think it’s going to be harder for the Buccaneers to score than they may think, especially since Evans cannot play on Sunday. Todd Bowles has a chance to really make some noise in the AFC this upcoming week, and the Jets season will come down to this Sunday, that’s why this is a must-win game and easily their most critical one of the year.