Jets vs. Lions: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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After a bit of a hiatus, the 12 pack is back…

1. There is no way that Rex Ryan didn’t get the message across to Brian Schottenheimer to start running the football more. Maybe it is just wishful thinking but LaDainian Tomlinson will get 20+ carries and Shonn Greene will get 14+ carries. If this prediction is wrong than be mad at Schotty for his ignorance, not me.

2. Darrelle Revis is going to man up Calvin Johnson at least 80% of the time this week. Megatron is going to make a few plays but Revis will keep him under 100 yards and out of the end-zone. The first signs of the Island resurfacing will be in place.

3. Mark Sanchez is going to complete 60 percent of his passes. I predict this because I don’t think the Jets will throw the ball frequently and when they do, I think there will be a good amount of high percentage throws.

4. Jerricho Cotchery isn’t going to drop a pass this week. This guy has been too consistent for too long to let one game throw him into a funk that carries across multiple games.

5. I am feeling a big week for the Jets special teams after their weak performance last week. Nick Folk won’t be shanking any kicks. Steve Weatherford will be punting and not running and Brad Smith will break off at least one big return.

6. The Lions tight ends, Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are going to have big days. The Jets did a poor job against Todd Heap, Anthony Hernandez, Anthony Fasano, and David Nelson earlier in the year and I am sure the Lions noticed that and will be looking to their tight ends often.

7. The Jets are going to be more aggressive on defense than they have been in previous weeks. This will lead to a few more sacks and maybe a turnover or two but will also allow Lions to create a few big plays of their own.

8. Less of a prediction and more of a general comment – This is the kind of the game where you want to jump out to a quick 10-0 lead and take the crowd out of it. If you let the Lions get off to a fast start they are going to build confidence and that place will be rocking.

9. Inactives – Joe (I can’t believe we spent a 4th round pick on this guy) McKnight, Vladimir (I can’t believe we spent a 2nd round pick on this guy) Ducasse, Kellen Clemens, Jamaal Westerman, Jeff Cumberland, Marcus Dixon, Josh Mauga, Jarron Gilbert.

10. I don’t think we will be seeing much of the Tiger formation this week.

11. Brandon Moore will do a great job on Ndamukong Suh, continuing his All-Pro caliber campaign.

12. The Lions are going to make their share of plays and I don’t think Mark Sanchez is playing well enough right now for this to be a blowout. Detroit will be in this game into the fourth quarter but the Jets will ultimately prevail in a tight one 27-21.

Week 9 Picks (Lines From BetUS)

  • Buffalo (+3) vs. Chicago
  • San Diego (-3) vs. Houston
  • New Orleans (-7.5) vs. Carolina
  • Minnesota (-8) vs. Arizona
  • Tamp Bay (+8) vs. Atlanta
  • Miami (+5) vs. Baltimore
  • Cleveland(+5.5) vs. New England
  • Giants (-7) vs. Seattle
  • Oakland (-2) vs. Kansas City
  • Philadelphia (-2.5) vs. Peyton Manning
  • Green Bay (-7.5) vs. Dallas
  • Pittsburgh (-6) vs. Cincinnati

Check out  (http://bit.ly/SundaySweep) for information on the NFLRedZone Sunday Sweep Challenge being run by the NFL Network. Register as a New York Jets fan and compete for plenty of prizes.

Jets vs. Lions: Game Breakdown

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Offense: Hey Brian Schottenheimer, you see those two guys…#21 and #23? They are your running backs. This football team is built around their running game and defense. You have a terrific offensive line, so how about you run the game plan through them? By the way, Detroit is 27th in the NFL at stopping the run. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene need to combine for 35-45 carries this Sunday, as the Jets get back to their formula for success since the beginning of the Rex Ryan era.

When they do throw the football, Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller need to get involved early, especially Edwards. He has been their best receiver so far this year so throw him a quick screen or hitch in the first series to make sure he is in the flow of the game. Keller wasn’t utilized enough last week and is always a threat off play action.

If the Jets are going to only run two plays out of the Tiger formation, they need to can it. It is time to expand the package of plays and come up with a few new wrinkles in it.

I don’t doubt that Jerricho Cotchery will bounce back with a strong performance this week, same with Santonio Holmes. It would be nice to see the Jets throw Holmes something besides a quick slant or an under route though.

Defense: Darrelle Revis vs. Calvin Johnson is just going to be fun to watch. I would expect Revis on him the overwhelming majority of the time, or at least he should be if he is actually 100 percent healthy. Antonio Cromartie should be able to handle Nate Burleson. However, the Lions tight ends should be a cause for concern. The Jets have struggled to defend the tight this season at times and Detroit has two good ones in Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler. Brodney Pool, Jim Leonhard, Dwight Lowery, and Eric Smith are going to need to step up their coverage to protect the middle of the field.

The Lions don’t have much of a running game (ranked 30th in the NFL) yet Jahvid Best is dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield with 36 receptions. There isn’t much speed for the Jets at linebacker so it will be interesting to see if the Jets shadow him with either Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo, or maybe Dwight Lowery.

I would like to see the Jets pass rush from their outside linebackers wake up a little bit this week. It has been a very quiet couple of weeks from Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, and Bryan Thomas. The Jets only have 15 sacks in 7 games, which isn’t enough for a team as aggressive as they are.

Special Teams: You think Steve Weatherford will think twice about taking off for a fake punt this week? The Jets should be wary of Stefan Logan in the return game. The Redskins ran a kick back for a touchdown on the Lions last week and Brad Smith has been very good as a returner this year, so the Jets might be able to pop one.

Jets Better Not Sleep On The Lions…Yes, The Lions

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I try not to buy into the “Same Old Jets” talk. I don’t believe things that happened years ago impact the individuals in the Jets locker room now, especially with the change of culture Rex Ryan has ushered in. However, this week I am worried more than I should be for a 5-2 team on the road facing a 2-5 team who has won 4 games over the past 2 and 1/2 seasons.

Part of the reason is that the Jets simply haven’t played all that well since their week 4 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills. They won a sloppy game against the Vikings, thanks largely to Brett Favre’s incompetence. They escaped with a victory in Denver, thanks to a defensive pass interference penalty and then were shut out at home by the Green Bay Packers. Now I don’t want to take credit away for the wins against Minnesota and Denver. A win is a win and the Jets stepped up in big spots late in those games to ensure victories. However, they still aren’t clicking like they were when they ran through their AFC East opponents.

The other reason is that the Lions are better than most 2-5 teams. There is a good amount of talent on this roster and they are a few plays (include a robbery in Chicago) from being a 4-3 team. They have plenty of flaws, namely their ability to stop the run and run the football but there is playmakers spread across this roster.

Matthew Stafford has been similar to Mark Sanchez so far in his career, when he has managed to stay healthy, which means he could be great on some days and god awful on others. Calvin Johnson is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL and along with Jahvid Best, Kevin Smith, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, and Nate Burleson…there are plenty of viable options on the Detroit offense.

Their defense has struggled but Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch have proven to be playmakers on their line and Alfonso Smith has pulled in 4 interceptions in only 7 games in the secondary. Jim Schwartz is a good coach, who has his young defense competing and as he pointed out today, they do have 8 more sacks so far this season than the Jets.

The Jets like to talk like they are the best team in the NFL. If they are, they should be fuming after being embarrassed in front of their home fans and ready to steamroll a young Detroit team in their own building. You would hope that is the mindset and there is nothing being taken for granted. Cut the cute BS out on offense Brian Schottenheimer and ram the ball down the Lions throat. They can’t stop your running game. Rex Ryan, man your prized cornerbacks up and send the house at their inexperienced quarterback, the way other teams have at your young quarterback.

The best way to knock the memory of the Green Bay debacle out of everybody’s head is to leave no doubt who the 5-2 team is and who the 2-5 team is this Sunday.

Jets vs. Lions: First Look

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The Opponent: Despite being 2-5, the Detroit Lions have improved significantly under head coach Jim Schwartz the past two years. They have been competitive every week and are coming off a home victory against the Washington Redskins who came into Detroit with a winning record. The Lions can throw the football and have playmakers at a variety of positions. However, they have struggled to run the football and stop the run consistently. This isn’t going to be a cakewalk for the Jets, as Detroit isn’t the type of team who isn’t going show up like Dallas or Buffalo against the Jets in week 4.

Detroit Starters/Key Reserves

OFFENSE

  • Quarterback: Matthew Stafford – 37/60, 295 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
  • Running Back: Jahvid Best – 91 carries, 297 yards, 4 TDs, 36 receptions, 316 yards, 1 TD
  • Running Back: Kevin Smith – 23 carries, 104 yards,
  • Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson – 38 receptions, 538 yards, 8 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Nate Burleson – 19 receptions, 176 yards, 2 TDs
  • Wide Receiver: Bryant Johnson – 8 receptions, 80 yards
  • Tight End: Brandon Pettigrew – 35 receptions, 344 yards, 2 TDs
  • Tight End; Tony Scheffler – 26 receptions, 217 yards, 1 TD
  • Left Tackle: Jeff Backus
  • Left Guard: Rob Sims
  • Center: Dominic Raiola
  • Right Guard: Stephen Peterman
  • Right Tackle: Gosder Cherilus

DEFENSE

  • Defensive End: Cliff Avril – 16 tackles, 3 sacks
  • Nose Tackle: Ndamukong Suh – 27 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 1 INT
  • Defensive Tackle: Corey Williams – 22 tackles, 1 sack
  • Defensive End: Kyle Vanden Bosch – 32 tackles, 4 sacks
  • Outside Linebacker: Ashlee Palmer – 34 tackles
  • Middle Linebacker: Zach Follett – 21 tackles
  • Outside Linebacker: Julian Peterson – 37 tackles, 1 sack
  • Corner: Chris Houston – 26 tackles, 1 INT
  • Corner: Alphonso Smith – 24 tackles, 4 INTs
  • Corner: Jonathan Wade – 29 tackles 
  • Safety: Louis Delmas – 46 tackles, 2 sacks
  • Safety: C.C. Brown – 35 tackles

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Kicker: Jason Hanson – 12/14 FGs
  • Punter: Nick Harris – 44.8 yards per punt
  • Kick Return: Stefan Logan – 29.5 per return, 1 TD
  • Punt Return: – 13.1 per return

PhotobucketKey Players: Calvin Johnson is one of the most physcially gifted players in the NFL and will let us know exactly how healthy Darrelle Revis really is. Jahvid Best is dangerous in the open field, along with a great receiver out of the backfield and Brandon Pettigrew is a quality receiving threat at the tight end position. Ndamukong Suh has beast so far in 2010, look at his stats through only 7 games…unbelievable. Kyle Vanden Bosch is also off to a strong start on the Lions defensive line. Stefan Logan is very dangerous in the return game. Alphonso Smith has 4 INTs so far this year.

Injuries: The Jets remain extremely healthy (keep your fingers crossed). Detroit isn’t dealing with any major injuries at the moment either. C.C. Brown has been banged up but I hope he does play, considering his coverage skills.

Key Storylines:  Can the Jets bounce-back? Will Brian Schottenheimer remember to run the football? Calvin Johnson vs. Darrelle Revis. Can Mark Sanchez put together a solid performance after two straight subpar ones?

Highlights of Lions Win Last Week

Will Revis Island Resurface?

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The most exciting news coming out out of Florham Park during the Jets bye week was the proclamation by Darrelle Revis that he is now “100 percent.” Bringing some hope to those around the organization that he can finally begin the process of living up to the monster contract extension that he held out all summer for.

We have all been impressed by the way Antonio Cromartie stepped his play up as the Jets number one corner. Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery have also been playing above their head to extent, helping fill the void by Revis who has missed time and when he has been on the field, has been far from 100 percent.

PhotobucketHowever, through their first six games the Jets are allowing 229 passing yards per game, which puts them at 22nd in the NFL. 100 yard receivers against their defense are becoming common place. They have been a far cry from the lock down unit they were in 2010. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a healthy Darrelle Revis makes a difference.

All of the anger that has been rightfully directed at Revis from fans so far will quickly disappear if he can get back to his 2009 level of play over the next 10 games. The Jets need him to because their defense isn’t going to make the strides Rex Ryan keeps talking about unless he does. Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Terrell Owens, Hines Ward and Brandon Marshall are all upcoming on the schedule and the trickle down effect of a Revis Island return is extensive.

Consider this, if Revis can get his swag back: The Jets will have the best number one corner in football, arguably the best number two corner in football in Cromartie, who will now be in more positions to make big plays considering he will be covering lesser receivers that will be targeted as quarterbacks avoid Revis. Drew Coleman, Dwight Lowery, and Kyle Wilson can all work at the nickel and dime spots they are much better suited for. The pass rush, which has been somewhat disappointing so far, will improve because of the enhanced coverage.

It has been nothing short of very impressive that the Jets built a 5-1 record without their best player. Yet, if they want to become the 12-13 win team they have the potential to be, Revis Island must resurface.