Afternoon (or evening - Looking at you, David!) everyone! The beginning of the season ended in a startling fashion last night, with Dallas, the heavy underdogs, knocking off the reigning Superbowl champions in week one. On Sunday, Giants fans will go from singing the blues about their pathetic defense, to being green with envy after watching the Jets elite defense take the very same field.
Our beloved Jets will be trotting into the stadium at 1:00 Eastern time on Sunday against our division rivals, the Buffalo Bills. After we play the Bills, we will travel to Pittsburgh to face the perennial contenders, the Steelers. A week later we will go down south to play the laughing stock of the NFL, the Dolphins, where i expect a win. We'll come back home and play against the 49ers, a very tough Superbowl contender with a stout defense. Then following week, we play another Superbowl contender in the Texans. Hopefully we magically come out 5-0, but i doubt that. Here's my attempt at an unbiased analysis of our first five games.
Buffalo - We've won the past few games against Buffalo, i believe the last 7 out of 8. When i think of those games, I think of heavy running on our part. The Buffalo Bills won the off-season this year with the ridiculous signings of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, both pretty good (or elite, in Williams' case) pass rushers. They look to have one of the best defensive lines in football this year, bookended by Williams and Anderson, with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams at DT. Williams is not only a premier pass rusher, but is also a stud at stopping the run. Mark Anderson is slightly overrated. He had a stellar rookie season in 06 with the Bears, where he accomplished 12 sacks, but then went five seasons with meager 13.5 sacks. His last season, which he spent with the Patriots, he got 10 sacks.
Anyway, that's the rundown of Buffalo's defensive line. I expect us to pound it up the middle frequently, as they have a weak LB corps and that's always worked for us in the past. Couple that with lots of short passes and a few wildcat plays, and we should have long, time of possession drives.
Buffalo has a decent offense when Fred Jackson is healthy. In 2011 he was in the MVP discussion before breaking his leg, as he was leading the league in rushing stats. He's really the complete back. He's tough, he's elusive ,and he can pass protect. However he's never really been that effective against us. Against a tough run defense, expect him to be near-neutralized. This brings us the the passing game of the Bills. Their only notable threat is Stevie Johnson, most known as Revis' kryptonite. That is overblown to the point of ridiculousness. Few people realize the fact that Revis was playing off him for much of the game, especially on that touchdown. Anyway, I expect us to play Revis very close to him so Revis can do what he does best, play physical football. Johnson will be neutralized. Buffalo will have to resort to handing off the ball to Jackson, who won't be very effective.
PREDICTION: 17-10, JETS
Steelers - Aging defense and a broken line is the name of the game for Pittsburgh, who plays in one of the toughest divisions in football, the AFC North. With coordinator Dick Labeau, They are perennially in the top 5 defensive discussion. However, they're quickly aging, and I don't expect them to last much longer (Sorry, Geeky).
The Steeler's O Line is in disarray. They drafted two offensive linemen in the first two rounds this year, one of which is already injured, and the other of which I've heard looks kind of shaky. They recently brought in offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who is known for his high-flying passing attack. This is how i think we will triumph against the Steelers; We'll put Cromartie on Mike Wallace, their deep threat. He's hella fast, but Cromartie is one of our most purely athletic players on the team and matches up very well with vertical deep threats like Wallace. Revis will be on an Island against Antonio Brown, who will not produce very well against the best corner in the game. They will have to resort to running the football with Mendenhall, who i don't believe will be the same after his knee injury.
PREDICTION: 17-14, JETS
Dolphins - Oh, Ryan Tannehill. Before i go on, i highly suggest you google his wife. Anyway, the Dolphins are crumbled, I’d feel bad for them..If it wasn’t for the fact that they were the Dolphins. Even Green Bay’s former offensive coordinator won’t be able to lead an effective and efficient offense with their personnel. Starting a rookie QB who was known going into the draft as being extremely raw, but talented; and having absolutely nobody at receiver after dropping their top 5 wide out, Brandon Marshall, to the Bears. Their only potent offensive weapon is Reggie Bush, who will likely be shut down by our defense, which is definitely a recurring theme in this article. Expect Rexy to throw blitzes that’re more exotic than amazonian feet at their rookie QB, something we’ll see throughout the season as we play seven inexperienced QBs.
On defense, the Dolphins have a solid defensive line, but they just lost a very solid corner in Vontae Davis. Their defense’s best asset is Cameron Wake, one of the highest paid pass rushers in the league. NYJetsCap.com did an article based around him on how much you should pay a pass rusher, and what they’re actually worth. One of the more interesting articles i’ve read this year. They have great stuff, worth checking out. I think the gameplan will, again, focus around ground and pound, shoving it up the middle to neutralize their pass rush and set up play action and the deep threat.
PREDICTION: 21-10, JETS
49ers - oh, goodness. One of, if not the, toughest games on our schedule, I’m afraid to say. A top 3 defense in the league with a ball-control offense, this game will be low-scoring and physical as hell.
Their defense is phenomenal, i think number 3 or 4 last year. I’d check, but i’m without wi-fi as i’m writing this. They have an epic Linebacker Corps, with Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman as the best ILB duo in the league, hands down. They were ranked number one against the run last season and frequently held their opponents below 10 points. Their defense this season has remained virtually unchanged, returning the same personnel everywhere. I expect us to run it up the middle for the first part of the game, and fail. Miserably. We’ll go onto short passes and the wildcat, and not do too well either.
Their offense won’t exactly do so well against us, either. Frank Gore isn’t the most dynamic runningback, and we’ll shut him down. Revis will work his usual magic, and take revenge on ‘ole Randy Moss for that one handed grab two years ago. No tight hammy this time! The one thing i’m concerned about is their tight end, who exploded onto the scene during the playoffs. Now HE can give us difficulty. Overall, this game will be a defensive battle, and one of the most physical games of the season. it’ll come down to a defensive touchdown or a return for touchdown
PREDICTION: 17-7, 49ers
Texans - Another tough defense, with a very efficient offense, and the most dynamic runningback in the league, this game could be bad. Very bad. However, i’m optimistic for the most part. The Texans boast the second best wideout in the game, Andre Johnson with a second-tier quarterback throwing to him. Cople that (see what i did there?) with a dynamic, pass-catching threat at runningback, and they have a very efficient offense. Their TE is also decent. He’s not Graham or Gronk level..More like Olsen or Keller. Anyway their RT spot is starting a no-name journeyman, much like us. My gameplan would be to line Coples up on LDE and put pressure on Schaub hard, rattle him a bit. I would never dream an injury on another player, but if we can make him skitzy in the pocket, it’ll be a cake-walk.
The Texans boast a very effective defense, with a strong secondary and an amazing defensive coordinator, one of the best in the league, Wade Phillips. Along with their good LB corps led by Brian Cushing (funny story; I met a guy at training camp who went to high school with Cushing. Apparently he went on roids between sophomore and junior year, when he bulked up like 50 pounds. He also played just about any position on the field, but thats a another whole story) and a defensive line led by a very strong 2nd year player from the Badgers, my college team, JJ Watt. He’s a monster. I’m fairly certain he lines up on RDE, however. So he’ll be facing D’Brick, good news for us!
When it comes to attacking this defense, honestly...IM AT A LOSE. So i’ll let you guys comment and discuss how we should plan on attacking the Texans defense.
Since there’s no poll, i’ll leave a few questions for you.
- predict a score for the Texans game
- predict a record for our first five games