On Monday night the high-flying New York Jets (3-1) take on the Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at the New Meadowlands Stadium (8:30 EST). The Jets enter the game winners of three in a row, while the Vikings are coming off of a bye week. This game is full of storylines as Brett Favre returns to play against the Jets, Randy Moss makes his debut as a Viking, and Darrelle Revis is expected to start for Gang Green. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game.
1) Offensive line play- In Jared Allen and Ray Edwards the Vikings have two defensive ends that can disrupt the passing game. In Kevin and Pat Williams, Minnesota has two players that can shut down the ground game. Gang Green’s offensive line must be able to win the battles in the trenches in order for the Jets to have any success on offense. Keep an eye on the D’Brickashaw Ferguson vs. Jared Allen match-up.
2) Spread the field- The return of wide receiver Santonio Holmes allows the Jets to truly spread out opposing defenses. Gang Green can utilize the 3 receiver set, which will not only spread out the opposing defense, but will cause mismatches all over the field. With Edwards, Holmes, and Cotchery at receiver, along with Keller at tight end, and Tomlinson out of the backfield, opposing defenses will not be able to key on one particular player. If Sanchez has time to throw the ball it should just be a matter of finding the open receiver.
Fun Facts: Mark Sanchez is seeking his fourth consecutive game with at least 2 td passes. Braylon Edwards is seeking his fourth consecutive game with a td catch.
1) Contain AP- The Vikings enter the game with the #5 running game in the NFL, led by running back Adrian Peterson. The Jets have been stout against the run, ranking 3rd in the NFL, and must find ways to contain the explosive back. It may be impossible to completely stop Peterson, but the Jets must find ways to eliminate the big plays in the running game.
2) Beat up Favre- If the Jets are able to stifle the running game, they then must find ways to get pressure and hits on Favre. Gang Green must collapse the pocket and get Favre out of rhythm, especially if he is going to look deep to Randy Moss. If Brett continues to face pressure it will only be a matter of time before he starts forcing throws and making poor decisions. (Note: The Jets get linebacker Calvin Pace back for this game, which should be a huge help with the pass rush.)
3) Shut down Shiancoe- While much of the attention is being given to wide receiver Randy Moss, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is one of the Vikings biggest offensive threats. Shiancoe leads the Vikings in receiving yards and is the big target that Favre loves to find when he is in trouble. Gang Green must find a way to eliminate Visanthe from the passing game, forcing Favre to look for other less reliable options.
Fun Facts: Brett Favre needs 1 TD pass to become 1st in NFL history with 500.Favre has 69,926 pass yards & needs 74 to be 1st ever with 70,000.
This is going to be a fun game to watch as the stadium is going to be electric. The Jets have won 3 games in a row and are adding Calvin Pace, Darrelle Revis, and Santonio Holmes back to the lineup, which has fans more than fired up for the game. I expect the Jets defense, fueled by the raucous home crowd, to attack the Vikings offense with a ton of pressure. Gang Green will force Favre to make some crucial mistakes while limiting Peterson to less than 100 yards. As for the offense, I think the Jets will use the pass to set up the run. As the game wears on, Gang Green will then transition to their ground and pound offense with much success. Jets 24-13
1) Many have asked what I thought about the reported Brett Favre scandal. My honest opinion? I can care less. Favre is no longer a Jet, and this drama is more about the individual player than the team he played for.
2) As the clock winded down during the Giants victory over the Texans, several Giants players were shown dancing on the sidelines. Could you imagine if the Jets were shown doing this? It would have been lack of class, lack of discipline, so on and so forth. Of course this will be a non-story, especially on some of the Giants-based radio talk shows.