1. #11 WR Larry Fitzgerald– Fitzgerald hasn’t had an outstanding year statistics wise, but to think he is onto his 3rd quarterback of the season, it’s easy to understand why. Fitzgerald has 55 catches for 627 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is not only the deep threat he was in the beginning of his career, but he is now a great overall receiver. He runs good routes and knows how to get open on third down. The reason he is a player to watch this week is because the Cardinals will try to get him matched up against anyone but Antonio Cromartie. They could move Fitzgerald from one side to the other and also from the outside receiver position into the slot. In order for their offense to succeed Fitzgerald has to have a huge day and he is definitely capable of doing so.
2. #21 Patrick Peterson– Peterson is becoming one of the best corners in the league. He has 4 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries and 35 total tackles. He has a knack for being around the ball. Besides the defensive worry to the Jets ineffective offense, Peterson is a game changer in the punt return game. This year he has a long of only 26 yards but last season he returned 4 punts for touchdowns including two that led the Cardinals to big victories. The Jets special teams has been very poor this year and if they don’t do their job and keep the ball away from Peterson he can change the outcome of the game in one long run. With two offenses that expect to struggle that could be the difference in the game.
3. #58 Daryl Washington– Washington is in his third year out of TCU and he has become a dangerous pass rushing linebacker. He has 9 sacks on the season to go along with 95 total tackles to lead the Cardinals defense. He also has one interception and forced two fumbles. He blitzes often and is relentless as a pass rusher. The Jets offensive line needs to know where he is at all times and communicate well to protect Mark Sanchez from the blitz this week. Washington is a game changer as a pass rusher and if Sanchez gets hit and loses the ball as he so often has over his career, it could not only be a turnover, but can change field position and ultimately, the final outcome of the game.
*All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference