By Tyson Rauch
On Sunday the (6-6) New York Jets take on the (1-11) Buccaneers down in Tampa, Florida (1pm EST). While the game appears to be somewhat of a mismatch on paper, there are two things to remember. Anything can happen on any given Sunday (see Bucs/Packers, Steelers/Browns), and this is the New York Jets, a team that always finds a way to make things interesting. Lets take a look at the keys to game for Gang Green.
New York Jets Offense vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense
While Kellen Clemens is getting the start at quarterback, the Jets offensive game plan will not change all that much. Gang Green’s offense is built around running the ball (#1 ranked rushing team in NFL), and with Tampa Bay’s defense ranked 31st against the run, the strategy is obvious. The Jets will look to control the line of scrimmage and pound the rock down the Buccaneers throats. If the Jets have success running the ball, the play action pass as well as the passing game will then open up for Clemens. Lets not forget that Kellen has a very good arm and when given time can make some big-time throws. I would not be surprised to see the Jets come out passing early to get Clemens comfortable and into the rhythm of the game.
New York Jets Defense vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense
The New York Jets defense has to be licking their chops as Tampa Bay’s offense is ranked 23rd in passing, and 22nd in rushing. Add in the fact that the Bucs are starting a rookie quarterback in Josh Freeman and it is no secret that Gang Green will be very aggressive at the line of scrimmage. Look for the Jets to blitz early and often to rattle the young signal caller.
In pass defense the Jets will have to keep an eye on tight end/wide receiver Kellen Winslow and receiver Antonio Bryant as they both have the ability to make big plays. I would expect to see Darrelle Revis matched up against Winslow, with Lito Sheppard taking his chances with Bryant.
While many in Jets nation are panicked over Kellen Clemens starting, I do not think he will be asked to do anything more than manage the game. The Jets should be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and will make their fair share of big plays. While this game has the potential to go down into the “Same Old Jets” lore, I am keeping the faith. Jets 27-10
For the rest of my week 14 picks click here.
1) There have been reports that Jets safety Kerry Rhodes is unhappy with his recent benching and rotation plan with Eric Smith. Well Kerry as Jets fans we are tired of seeing you hot dog it on the field and half heartedly attempt to make tackles. Maybe if you played the game like you did before your hefty contract you would not be in this situation. If you want your starting job back here is a novel idea, EARN IT BACK. Put up or shut up.
2) I will be heading down to the game in Tampa this weekend therefore will not post my game recap until Monday evening.