The Jaguars bring an element to the passing game New York's pass rush has not seen this season. David Garrard is the most mobile quarterback the Jets have faced all year. He has 191 yards on the ground and 5.0 per carry. If his pocket collapses, he has the ability to extend plays to give his receivers extra time and to make plays on his own with his feet. It's going to be important for blitzers to stay disciplined, keep in their lanes, and tackle properly. A whiff on a sack will give Garrard a chance to make plays.
The good news is the Jets will have a great chance to put Garrard under constant pressure. Jacksonville has made five lineup changes on the offensive line through its first eight games. An offensive line functions as a unit. What the guy next to you does bears a direct impact on how difficult your assignments are. Just think of D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Do you think it's an accident his worst season as a pro was 2007, the year Adrien Clarke lined up next to him? Or that his play took off to Pro Bowl caliber level once the Jets signed Alan Faneca? A lot has to do with comfort level with those surrounding you. Part of the reason the Jets have such a great offensive line is talent. It's also that all five have started 24 consecutive games with each other.
It looks like the Jets will be against a pair of rookie tackles, Eugene Monroe and Ebon Britton. They both show flashes of potential, but their pass blocking has been an issue at times. Monroe has given up 4 sacks and Britton 3. Britton has allowed an unsightly 26 quarterback pressures, while Monroe is at 14. That puts both tackles in the top fifteen in the league. Center Brad Meester might have a tough time with Sione Pouha and require help. The guards, Vince Manuwai and Vince Manuwai are probably the best on the line.
Maurice Jones-Drew is a surprisingly solid pass blocker despite his small size, but the Jaguars will want to involve him in the passing game and get him the ball in space. If the Jets get to Garrard, Jacksonville will have to leave their back in more than they want. Same with their tight end, Marcedes Lewis, who has 17 receptions. They will also involve Ernest Wilfork in double tight sets, but Lewis is a better pass protector.
Again, it will likely come down to Garrard's ability to buy himself some extra time and the Jets' ability to bring pressure quickly. By this point, we know Darrelle Revis can take any receiver out of the game. He's only one player, though. The Jaguars have two good receivers, Torry Holt and Mike Sims-Walker. Dwight Lowery is starting opposite Revis instead of Lito Sheppard. I like Dwight. He's played well, but if Garrard buys himself some extra time, I worry about his ability to cover either for an extended period. Holt has lost a lot of his speed, but he is still an excellent route runner going to work on an inexperienced corner. Sims-Walker is starting to emerge as a big play threat for Jacksonville. Dwight's got great ball skills, but can he maintain coverage? It might be a good idea to get Lito in there if Garrard's mobility becomes a factor.
Overall, though, I like the matchup. The Jets feast on unstable offensive lines.