The New York Jets square off against the New York Giants tonight in the annual “Snoopy Bowl.” Here are tonight’s DO’s and DONT’s…
1. DO use all of the running backs together. Last week, Bilal Powell and Chris Johnson ran hard and were effective against a very good Bengals front seven. There has been some talk that there won’t be enough carries for all the Jets running backs. I’m here to tell you that that’s simply not true. The Jets averaged 27 carries per game as a team last year. This year, I expect that number to be closer to 33 carries per game. Marty used formations last year with Powell, Ivory, and Mike Goodson lined up together so there is no reason why you won’t see formations with all 3 “Predators.”
2. DO play physical, offensive line. There has been a lot of chatter from Jason Pierre-Paul about how the Giants defensive line is going to make a statement and how the Giants have the best defensive line in New York. The offensive line needs to set the tone right away, but not in the manner that they tried to do it last week with drive killing penalties.
3. DO take a couple of shots down field. This is one left over from last week, because the Jets didn’t take as many shots down the field as I would’ve liked. Leaning on the running game as much as I expect them to will open up one on one matchups down the field. Eric Decker, David Nelson, and Jeremy Kerley are all capable wide receivers that can win one on ones on the outside. Decker was the best deep ball catcher in the league last year, and Geno was one of the most efficient deep ball throwers. Time to show up against a very overrated Giants secondary.
4. DO keep Geno upright. The Jets offensive line, a unit that some expect to really struggle this coming season due to the loss of RT Austin Howard, has played pretty well (penalties aside) through two preseason games. Part of it is Geno and Vick’s willingness to take off, but the line is holding their own. They need to do the same this week, as this will most likely be their last in-game opportunity to play together before the regular season opens against Oakland and Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck, and Lamarr Woodley.
5. DO let Calvin Pryor try to set the tone early on. Antonio Allen and Darrin Walls should be able to hold the fort down on the outside against Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz, neither of whom are AJ Green. Calvin Pryor should be able to roam free and make plays all over the place.
1. Don’t put Geno back in with the starters in the 3rd quarter after he’s already locked up the starting job. This one is directed at Rex Ryan. No one cares about the Snoopy Trophy more than we care about Geno being healthy for week 1 against the Raiders. so keep him healthy. A bonehead move like the one Rex pulled last season is the quickest way to end a season before it begins.
2. Don’t have a “Vick Package.” Again, this is for Rex and his famed “Tebow Package” that he tried rolling out a couple of seasons ago. The old adage is that if you have 2 QBs, it really means you have none. This is Geno Smith’s team to start the season barring an epic meltdown tonight. Leave Michael Vick on the sideline until it’s time for him to play with the second team.
3. Don’t worry about winning this game. Trust me, that’s not the goal tonight. The goal tonight is to be operating on all cylinders. The second goal is for everyone to be healthy. Winning a game, even one as “important” as the Snoopy Bowl, isn’t the goal tonight.
4. Don’t rush Jalen Saunders back. This medical event, which i’m thinking more and more that it was a seizure and would be terrifying if it was his first, needs to be treated with much respect. We all want Jalen to contribute this year, but his health is more important.
5. Don’t kill drives with stupid penalties. The Jets moved the ball well last week, but had ALOT of drives killed because of penalties by the offensive line. Be physical, as stated above, but be smart about it. The Jets offensive and defensive lines should match-up well with the Giants, so no need to resort to bully tactics. Just play football, and walk out of MetLife healthy.