This is not going to be a game the Jets can ask Mark Sanchez to win on his own. I know I say it every week, but it's especially true here. If the Jets need Sanchez to trade touchdowns with Drew Brees in that dome, it's probably going to be a long day. This game will need to be won by the defense and running game.
Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is from the Rex Ryan school of attack. Williams even likes to show elements of the 46 defense Buddy Ryan created. Mark Sanchez will be tested with exotic looks and blitzes from different angles like he was against the Texans and Patriots. New Orleans' defense will be a contrast to the execution based Cover 2 the Titans ran last week. It is important to note that despite the new blitzing look, 4 of the team's 6 sacks have come from defensive linemen Will Smith, Sedrick Ellis, Charles Grant, and Bobby McCray. The offensive line is going to need to be much better than last week when Tennessee's four man rushes generated pressure too consistently.
What was just a brutal secondary last season got an upgrade in the signing of free agent corner Jabari Greer and the selection of corner Malcolm Jenkins from Ohio State in the first round. Jenkins plays behind Greer. Tracy Porter starts opposite Greer, and a familiar name, former Patriot Randall Gay backs him up. Roman Harper and Darren Sharper start at safety. This secondary shut Terrell Owens out last week. There is a lot of man to man coverage. Since the Jets have scaled back their playbook in terms of the number of reads Sanchez has to make, I'm expecting the Saints to try and take away Jerricho Cotchery. That's easier said than done this season, but it could mean Chansi Stuckey will need to step up. Might the Jets be ready to give Sanchez an extra read and unleash David Clowney in his return? Time will tell. Old friend Jonathan Vilma will probably see a good share of action against Dustin Keller. That will be a key matchup potential Pro Bowl players at their respective positions.
I'd like to see more screens to Leon Washington this week. You have to love the way the Jets have gotten him involved in the game plans this year. Still, I'm not sure he's been used in the best way. The Jets should make a greater effort to get it to him in space. He can be successful running between the tackles, but he's at his best in the open field.