Jets vs. Lions: Game Breakdown

Photobucket

Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets)

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

Photobucket

Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (@TurnOnTheJets)

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.