Who: NY Jets (4-6) vs Carolina Panthers (7-3)
When: Sunday at 1 pm
Where: Metlife Stadium
Point Spread: Jets +5 1/2
With the playoffs still a mathematical possibility for the Jets who sit at 4-6, Todd Bowles will go with veteran quarterback Josh McCown once again. Here’s a look at some of the Jets’ key match-ups heading in to their week 12 battle.
C Wesley Johnson vs ILB Luke Kuechly
Jets starting center Wesley Johnson among the worst offensive linemen in the NFL and Kuechly is among the best inside linebackers in the business. If the Panthers have been paying any attention to Johnson’s play this season, they’ll attack the A-gaps with Kuechly and an assortment of defenders as Johnson and his linemates, Brian Winters and James Carpenter have struggled mightily this season as well.
ILB’s Demario Davis and Darron Lee vs QB Cam Newton
The Panthers don’t have much to work with at wide receiver and as a result, Newton may look to make plays with his legs. A load at 6′ 6” 260 pounds, Newton presents a unique challenge for any defense, but should he see some head-to-head meetings with an undersized Darron Lee, it could get interesting.
DL Steve McClendon vs C Tyler Larsen
Panthers center Ryan Kalil is doubtful with a neck injury and will likely be replaced by Tyler Larsen if he can’t go. McClendon, a grossly underrated defensive lineman has been a force against the run this season and could look to have a big day in facing the Panthers’ reserve center.
TE Greg Olsen vs S Jamal Adams
Olsen, one of the league’s best tight ends is due to return for the Panthers this week and while he may be limited, the savvy veteran may get some run against the Jets’ Adams who has been beaten for three touchdowns by opposing tight ends this season.
While the playoffs are more of a fantasy than reality at this point for the Jets, true fans will be looking on in hopes of seeing their young core of talented young players continue to grow and develop and the Panthers charge an excellent measuring stick at this point in the season.