Should Damien Woody and Eric Smith Start in AFC Wild Card Game?

EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - SEPTEMBER 19: Rex Ryan Head Coach of the New York Jets greets Damien Woody #67 before the game against the New England Patriots on September 19 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Damien Woody and Eric Smith will be ready to play on Saturday against the Colts after missing the last three games. Let me pose the question of whether they should start and play most the snaps and provide my opinion.

Woody:

Wayne Hunter has played very well in Woody's absence. He was solid against Lamarr Woodley in the Pittsburgh game and fantastic against Julius Peppers in the Chicago game. Is it time for a change? Should the Jets stick with what is working instead of sticking a potentially rusty Woody into a difficult matchup against Robert Mathis?

I think Hunter's play should at least make the Jets think, but Woody should regain his starting job. He has a vastly superior track record and was putting together a Pro Bowl caliber season at right tackle. He's clearly the man for the job.

Smith:

Like Hunter, Smith's replacement, Dwight Lowery, has been solid as a replacement. He has improved every week. Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention, and sticking Lowery at safety has looked good so far. Dwight has a pair of interceptions and a touchdown. Lowery is strictly a cover guy so he had to play free safety, which forced Brodney Pool to move to strong safety. Pool's play has picked up a lot since the move. The Jets really stumbled into something.

I hate to say it, but if Smith starts, it will be a case of the coaching staff being too loyal to a guy it likes. It would not make a ton of sense to make this move against the Colts. Indy posted the most passing yards in the league and was number twenty-nine running the ball. Smith is good in run support but suspect in coverage. Lowery is the opposite. It would be one thing if the Jets were playing a team with a good running game like the Chiefs, but the guy whose strong suit is playing the pass should be in against the Colts. Plus, Pool has been at his best at strong safety. Smith doesn't have the range to play free safety effectively against a big time passing attack.

I vote Woody starts, and Smith sits. What are your feelings?

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