The TOJ staff discusses what match-ups they are most looking forward to in this Sunday’s game between the Jets and Cardinals.
A quick shout out to Santonio Holmes who is running an online raffle to raise money for his Third and Long Foundation. The contest runs through this Saturday and the prize is 2 tickets to watch the Jets game this week in a suite at MetLife with Holmes. Check out http://www.monjigame.com for more information – Help support a great cause!
Joe Caporoso – The Jets vs. Our Collective Sanity – The New York Jets have just about pushed their fans to the breaking point this year. Yet, if this eternally hyped defense can’t put a hurting on Ryan Lindley and the worst offensive line in football what else is there to do but fire everybody who is associated with this organization? This is the type of game the Jets defense needs to post 5 sacks, 2 turnovers and carry the torch to an ugly 13-3 win. If the Jets manage to lose this game, they may not win the rest of the season.
Chris Gross – Jets Defensive Line vs. Cardinals Offensive Line: If Arizona had a capable quarterback, this would easily be focused on Antonio Cromartie against Larry Fitzgerald. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, however, the quarterback situation in the desert is more laughable than any team around the league (including the Jets and Kansas City). The Cardinals have given up an NFL worst 46 sacks this season, with the Jets only getting to opposing quarterbacks a mere 17 times. Something has to give, here right?
Arizona will be starting rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley for the second straight week. Despite throwing 4 interceptions against St. Louis last week, Lindley still threw for 312 yards. The talent is there at wide receiver for the Cardinals. Third year pro Andre Roberts is quietly having a decent year for Arizona with 50 receptions and 5 touchdowns, including 9 grabs in the loss to the Rams last week. While Cromartie should be able to keep Fitzgerald in check for the better part of the game, Roberts and Michael Floyd could cause problems for the rest of the Jets below average secondary.
In order to prevent a surplus of Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster miscommunications, the Jets simply need to wreak havoc on the rookie signal caller. There is no excuse for not getting to the quarterback this week. Lindley needs to be hit early and often in order for the Jets to neutralize the mismatches at WR2 and WR3. Muhammad Wilkerson should have a big game, with Quinton Coples, and one of the Jets outside linebackers contributing as well (Anybody? Bueller?? Bueller??). If the pass rush is neutralized against the poor pass blocking offensive line of the Cardinals, another home loss could be looming, particularly due to the strong defensive presence that Arizona has still maintained, despite losing 7 in a row
Mike Donnelly – The matchup I’m most looking forward to this Sunday is Quinton Coples, Mo Wilkerson, and Ricky Sapp against the Cardinals porous offensive line. I know it seems weird to include someone like Sapp in a group with 1st round picks like Coples and Wilkerson, but hear me out. If Ricky Sapp can’t get anything going this week against this Cardinals offensive line which is downright atrocious, then we know he truly is never going to help this team in any meaningful way. The Cardinals field two of the very worst offensive tackles in the NFL, and they aren’t that much better up the middle. Mo Wilkerson has been on an absolute tear lately and I’m looking forward to seeing him really put up a monster game, while this could also be Quinton Coples’s big “I’m here” game. Coples has been on the brink of busting out for a few weeks now, and if he’s given enough reps, he can really do some damage and build some momentum for himself going forward and into the 2013 season. Wins or losses are almost meaningless at this point in the season for this Jets team, so the main thing is seeing the young foundation pieces for next year improve and show what they can do.
TJ Rosenthal – The biggest matchup this weekend will be the battle for Jets mascot supremacy now that Fireman Ed has abdicated his throne. How many new challengers will emerge seeking followers of their J-E-T-S chanting lead? We expect an embarrassing competition consisting of grown ups wearing wings for arms, and mini airplanes on their heads.
You don’t actually think that we are curious about any matchup in particular between a team on a seven game skid with a practice squad quarterback, and a team with one healthy wide receiver and a franchise quarterback fresh off a near concussion. This thanks to running into his own lineman’s derrière. On national tv no less. Do you?
Chris Celletti – Mark Sanchez has to start putting some solid performances together quickly if he has any visions of staying in the NFL as a starting quarterback. And you might want to do that soon, Mark, because the Kate Uptons and Eva Longorias of the world don’t date backups.
The Jets’ schedule the remainder of the way is littered with bad teams, so it seems that the Jets’ signal caller will have his chances to put together a solid personal finish to the year. However, this Sunday’s task – going by the numbers – will be the hardest of the bunch. Despite losing seven straight games, Arizona still has a very solid defense. They’re fourth in the NFL against the pass, allowing an average of just 204 yards per game. Couple that with the fact that the Jets are the fifth-worst passing team in the league (201 yards a game, GOOD GOD) and the fact that there’s a good chance Sanchez will be throwing actual NFL passes to guys named Mardy Gilyard, Jack McSwillywiggins and Jordan White (only one of those names was made up), it could get ugly once again.
Thankfully, there will only be about 35,000 actual human beings in the stands at MetLife, so the TEEEBOOOWWW chants and boos will only be about half as loud as they normally are. Expect a similar outcome on the other side with the Jets’ pass defense and Cards’ QB Ryan Lindley, so this game really has a chance to set football back about 72 years. But at home, against a west coast team in an early Eastern time kickoff, the Jets really should win as long as Sanchez doesn’t mutilate the game.