The preseason is finally over and as always the mood is tense in New York Jets land. The media is continuously attacking Rex Ryan (for going to his son’s college football game) and every “analyst” has the Jets winning 2 games. Shocking? Not in the slightest bit. With all of this smoke covering up what really matters (the Jets are a football team, not a soap opera) there is a very important matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. Let’s dive into the football aspects of this matchup that have flew under the radar:
1) Is Santonio Holmes going to be available?
If Holmes can play, this is an entirely different game for multiple reasons. The Buccaneers have garnered a ton of hype in regards to their rebuilt secondary. What people fail to realize is that Darrelle Revis is coming off a torn ACL, they have a young safety in Mark Barron who has been absolutely brutal in coverage at times, and have a very suspect second corner in Leonard Johnson. Holmes would most likely draw Revis, leaving Johnson on Stephen Hill. Johnson has been outmuscled a lot in his one year career and Hill is the perfect receiver to matchup against him. Jeremy Kerley would most likely draw rookie corner Johnthan Banks, which could lead to a big day for the shifty slot receiver.
2) Can the Jets stop Doug Martin?
Doug Martin ran wild as a rookie and is poised for a big sophomore year. The Jets have rebuilt a once aging front seven with speedy pass rushers around top tier defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. Although the Jets pass rush has big expectations, the youngsters might struggle against the run at first, especially with questionable safeties playing behind them. Fortunately for the Jets, the Buccaneers have serious questions at…
3) Tampa’s Offensive Line
Former pro bowl guard Carl Nicks is a long shot to play. Losing a starting guard is usually less of a worry than a tackle, but the Jets are built much differently than many defenses in the NFL. They game plan to garner pressure from the interior, specifically from defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. If Nicks can’t play and the Bucs are forced to start Gabe Carimi, Jamon Meredith, or Ted Larsen, it could seem like the preseason all over again for quarterback Josh Freeman (he was constantly hit and scrambling from pressure).
Marty Mornhinweg loves to come out firing and reportedly loves his rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Smith can make all the throws and can move quite well, but is he ready to carry an offense? The answer is simply no, not yet. While he can come out and throw for over 250 yards, the more important aspect is his decision making. Limit turnovers and take chances when necessary, but keep the weight of the world off your shoulders, Geno.