Jets vs. Panthers: Keys to the game/Prediction

With the Jets still reeling from the knockout punch to their 2009 season they suffered last weekend in Foxborough, GangGreen fans are finding it hard to get up for this Sunday’s game. It’s been yet another week of Ryan and co. amassing themselves in the media --  with the talk stemming from Kerry Rhodes’ ineffectiveness to the trials and tribulations of Sanchez.

Currently sitting at 4-6, in order to qualify for the Wildcard, the Jets would not only need to run the table, but also get help from many other teams.  Hence, tomorrow the preparation for the 2010 season officially begins, as this Jets team will most likely use the final third of the season to take some chances, tryout some new looks, and hope to find some positives to go into the offseason with. 

Keys to the game:

  1. Stop the run- Carolina ranks 3rd in the NFL in rushing, pounding the rock for 159.1 YPG. They employ a similar offensive game-plan to ours, which is predicated on establishing the run to setup the pass. In the last three games, they’ve rushed 100 times for a total of 549 yards.
    If we stop this powerful rushing attack, it would do two things: force Carolina into more passing situations and pressure the turnover-machine, Delhomme into making some errant passes…. and secondly would allow us to play Eric Smith over the top to help ensure Coleman doesn’t get beat on a deep route.

  2. Make it easy for Sanchez- The kid’s confidence appears to be at an all-time low, and all the media talk about how he’s regressing surely won’t help that. We need to run the football effectively and get him into some "third and manageable" situations (like they did in 2H of Jax game) to help get him back in a rhythm and re-build his confidence. 
    The offensive play-calling needs to be conservative, and that's something we know all-too-well that Schotty has no problem with doing...

  3. Get Keller involved in the offense- After catching 8 and 6 passes in the Jax and MIA games, Dustin only caught three balls last week. With Sanchez struggling, utilizing Keller as a safety valve will be key in taking the pressure off of him when Carolina blitzes. This is a Panther's LB Core that is decimated by injuries. If Sanchez can hit Keller and exploit this match-up, he should have a field day. 

  4. Drew Coleman has to step up and be effective— We’re not asking him to be a shutdown corner, but he has been nothing short of awful this season. With Lowery and Strick doubtful, and Lito still banged up, it looks as if Coleman will once again be starting at corner.
    Revis has done a phenomenal job shutting down WR1's all year, but it’s the possession-based WR2’s that have killed us underneath. We desperately need Coleman to do a sufficient job covering Muhammad on Sunday 
Summary: 

GangGreen have lost their last 3 at the Lands and have something to prove this weekend. Ricky Williams rushed for 119 yds last week even without Ronnie Brown, and Jones should have yet another 100-yard-game on Sunday.

On defense, the Jets will obviously look to stack the box to help contain the combo of Williams/Stewart, and force Delhomme to beat them with his arm. I strongly believe whichever team has more success running the football and wins the time of possession battle will win this game.

Benching Rhodes sent the message that Rex is going to start holding guys accountable for their performance on the field, and I have a feeling we see em play with some long-lost passion and finally get a full-team effort this Sunday -- something we haven't seen since week two. 

Prediction: J-E-T-S 23, Kitties 19.

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