On Sunday the New York Jets take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Metlife Stadium (1pm EST). The Jets are coming off of an emotional comeback victory over the Dallas Cowboys while the Jaguars enter the game with confidence after a surprising victory over the Tennessee Titans. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game from the Jets perspective.
Ground and Pound- The New York Jets need to get back to their physical style of football and establish their running game. The offensive line must blow guys off the line of scrimmage and Shonn Greene has to run with some authority which will wear down the Jaguars defense. Once the running game is established, the play action pass will become ten times more effective.
Protect Sanchez- Last week quarterback Mark Sanchez took a beating from the Dallas Cowboys defense and that trend cannot continue if the Jets are looking to have any type of success this season. The offensive line must do a better job in protection and the backs, mainly John Conner and Shonn Greene, must do a better job in blitz pickups. Keep an eye on former Jets Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery who could be used in blitz packages if the Jaguar front seven cannot get any pressure.
Contain MJD- It is no secret that the Jaguars offense is built around running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Add in the fact that the Jags are starting an inexperienced quarterback in Luke McCown and the bullseye on MJD gets even bigger. The Jets defense must find ways to shut down Jones-Drew in order to make the Jacksonville offense one dimensional. Once the running game is shut down the Jets defense will have a field day as the Jaguars have a very average receiver group led by Mike Thomas and Jason Hill (who is listed as doubtful).
Pressure McCown- The Jets defense must find ways to confuse and pressure Jacksonville quarterback Luke McCown. The inexperienced quarterback (this will be his 8th career start) has not thrown a touchdown pass since December 30th, 2007. Look for the Jets to blitz early and often in order to force turnovers and third and long situations.
On paper this is a game the Jets should win going away. The Jets defense will have a big day as the Jaguars do not have enough weapons on offense to help Maurice Jones-Drew, especially if tight end Marcedes Lewis does not play. On offense Gang Green will be able to take advantage of an average secondary once they get their running game going. (Note: There is a chance wide receiver Santonio Holmes will be out or limited for this game due to injury)
I would not be surprised to see the team come out flat early on, but I do not think that Jacksonville has enough talent to take advantage. Jets 27-13