Jets-Jaguars Preview: The Kittens Come to Metlife

New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, Sep. 18, 1:00 p.m. EST

Location: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Coverage: CBS and DIRECTV 707, Sirius XM 85.

Who is favored? Jets by 10 points.

Record: Jaguars lead historical series, 6-3.

What happened last time? Jaguars won 24-22 in mid-November, 2009 after kicking the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock.

Both teams are 1-0.

Reports are that Jets will wear Blue throwback Titan uniforms. When dressing in throwbacks, Jets are 4-1.

Friday injury report: Jets Out: Logan Payne (WR) Wrist, Robert Turner (OL) Ankle. Questionable: David Harris (LB) Toe, Santonio Holmes (WR) Knee / Quad, Eric Smith (DB) Ankle.

Jaguars Out: Derek Cox (CB) Chest, Aaron Kampman (DE) Knee. Doubtful: Jason Hill (WR) Hip Marcedes Lewis (TE) Calf.

The biggest story of this week for Jets fans is more than likely the incredibly quick return home for DB's Dwight Lowery (our most improved player last year) and Drew Coleman to square off against their former team. With CB Cox sitting this weekend, Mark Sanchez and his receivers are extremely likely to see A LOT of action from their former teammates. Although I think Lowery and Coleman's skills are probably underrated in the league overall, this is not exactly the most apt passing defense we've faced in recent memory, quite the opposite. There's a reason two of our extra parts DB's that we let go are going to be starting the game for Jacksonville, because their secondary is that bad.

Enough gloating about my favorite mismatch for this week, let's break her on down.

Rankings

Offense: After 1 week of play, the Jets are 16th overall, 30th in rushing (YIKES), and 7th in passing production. The Jaguars are 19th overall, tied for 5th in rushing, and 26th in passing.

Defense: Surviving the Cowboys earned the Jets a 23rd overall defensive rank for week 1, tied for 5th in rushing defense, and were 27th against the pass. The Jags were 8th in overall defense, 2nd in rushing, and 17th in passing. Before you get up in arms over the defensive discrepancy, keep in mind it's 1. only one week, and 2.they faced the Titans and we faced the Cowboys.

Jets X-Factor(s): Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress.

I expect Holmes will suit up when the rubber hits the turf, and when he does, Mark Sanchez will need his speed and elusiveness. The same can be said for Burress and his height/red zone presence. The Jaguars were a very stout run defense last week against superior Titans backs (albeit probably an inferior offensive line), and their defensive presence is definitely strongest up front. This will NOT be the week for us to re-establish our running game, as badly as both we and Schotty may want to.

Holmes and Burress have the physical tools to effectively neuter Lowery and Coleman on the field. If they deliver, and haul in the passes that are on target, not only would it greatly benefit our run game, but beating the Jags vertically and on route running is the single most important key to exploiting their weaknesses and winning the football game.

This game will be decided by: The winning teams passer (Mark Sanchez or Luke McCown)

Both teams feature stout run defenses and physical front sevens. The Jets will try to shut down MJD and put the ball in McCown's hands, and I expect the same in return. Although the rankings from one week of play favor the Jags defense, most readers here will agree with my assertion that we are the most defensively talented unit. In the end I expect a slow paced, lower scoring game, with a few touchdowns in random places from the Jets. The Jaguars may play a close first quarter or so, but as the game goes on, I project more separation between the teams' scores. The superior secondary of the Jets will likely contribute to the victory I am predicting.

Prediction: Jets 21 Jaguars 10.

I'm giving us a little more breathing room this week, because this team has less in the way of weapons on offense than our previous opponent, and we have a clearly superior secondary.

My record this year: Although the prediction I made last week (24-20 Jets) for a close game was ridiculed for being too generous to the Cowboys, the point differential was exact. We'll be revisiting my predictions for the previous week, right or wrong, every preview.

Grab the spray bottle, we have some cats to run off. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!

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