Super Fast Saturday: “A Wing and a Prayer”

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First off, I wanted to apologize to you guys for being so erratic with this column, the Jets’ swoon had me in some states but we’re back and better than ever this week, praying for a miracle and some help to keep watching meaningful football. Last week was an improvement in some respects but the Jets have yet to get it going in all three phases and have a tall order in front of them going against a Panthers team that is coming off a drubbing in the Super Dome and needs a win to keep pace in the playoff race. We’ll get into it after the jump but here’s everything you need to know as the Jets head to Carolina:

Injury Report:

Jets

Out: WR Stephen Hill (knee)

Questionable: CB Antonio Cromartie (hip, concussion)

Probable: LB DeMario Davis (thumb), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), WR Santonio Holmes (foot, hamstring), WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), WR David Nelson (ribs), S Ed Reed (not injury related), WR Greg Salas (finger), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (wrist), TE Kellen Winslow (knee)

Panthers

Out: RB Jonathan Stewart (knee)

Probable: T Nate Chandler (elbow), DT Dwan Edwards (not injury related), T Jordan Gross (not injury related), TE Greg Olsen (foot), G Chris Scott (knee), LB Jordan Senn (hamstring, illness), G Travelle Wharton (not injury related)

Story Lines of Note:

Stephen Hill Mercifully Done for the Season

Tone Runs His Mouth

Cro Concussed

Trying To Take This Show on the Road

Picks (If You Care About Such Things):

ESPN

NYDN

NY Post

Sports Illustrated

Other Links:

Boss Hogg Would Pick Himself 

Jets Game Plan: Cam Newton 

Rex Presser

“DD” In the Evening Episode 2

Quote of the Week:

“Tape doesn’t lie.”

-Rex Ryan when asked whether his defensive line was among the best in the league. 

Dan’s “Two Cents”:

I said it on the Podcast on Tuesday but I would consider it a minor miracle if the Jets, given the circumstances, were able to go into Carolina and beat the Panthers after they were embarrassed by the Saints on a national stage and are trying to keep pace in the Division. However, if you take a closer look the Jets and the Panthers aren’t drastically different teams: they both rely on running the ball and stopping the run to win games. In fact the Panthers and Jets are ranked first and second respectively in rushing defense. Needless to say, this game will come down to the Quarterbacks, where the Panthers have a decided advantage with Cam Newton at the helm.

The Jets better be prepared with one hell of a game plan if they really have a shot of winning this game and that game plan should consist of a way to contain Cam Newton on Defense and a way to loosen up what will surely be a stacked box on Offense. I would expect to see a combination of multiple Tight End sets and some heavy play action but Marty Mornhinweg has shown an aversion to putting Geno under center so the more likely scenario is that they come out in the spread and hit some quick passes to make the Panthers defense respect the pass. Don’t be surprised if Geno begins to run a lot more in this game to keep the Defense honest, especially off of designed bootlegs and roll outs. To borrow a boxing term, I would say the Jets don’t have more than a “puncher’s chance” in this game but they are 3-0 against the NFC South this season so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope and then again, maybe not.

For The Crazies:

If you are deluded enough to think the Jets still have a shot at making the playoffs, here’s who to root for this week:

Lions over Ravens

Pats (yes, believe it) over Dolphins