The Jets opening game is just around the corner and all eyes will be on the two quarterbacks taking the field. Sam Darnold for the Panthers and of course, Zach Wilson for the Jets.
Ahead of the game, we’re looking at potential match-ups that the Jets may be able to exploit. Earlier today we touched on the weakness of the Carolina offensive line in comparison to the strength of the Jets defensive interior, now we’re switching our focus to the other side of the ball.
I’m looking forward to seeing the likes of Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Keelan Cole go up against the two starting outside corners for Carolina, Donte Jackson and rookie Jaycee Horn.
However, there is another matchup that the Jets could potentially exploit, and that’s Elijah Moore running from the slot. Now Moore is a versatile receiver who I believe will line up all over this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he saw more time on the outside than the inside.
This off-season he’s seen time from all over the field, and the Jets have shown a willingness to use him from the slot. Speaking earlier this off-season head coach Robert Saleh spoke of Moore’s versatility:
“He’s got a chance to do something pretty cool,” Saleh said, “and him being able to play the X, the Z, the F and just move around and be versatile, it just opens up the playbook in terms of being able to put him in spots to create matchups.”
Jamison Crowder may be unavailable this week, and if that’s the case I’d love to see Moore given considerable time in the slot to exploit a favourable matchup.
The Carolina Panthers signed A.J Bouye to a two year deal after the veteran was released by the Denver Broncos. Despite the former undrafted free agent spending most of his career outside, even making a pro-bowl in 2017, the Panthers saw Bouye moving inside, a position where he is expected to excel at.
He started the off-season well, but an injury slowed him down. It won’t be an injury keeping him out of this weekend’s matchup though, Bouye still has two games to serve on his 6 game suspension that he picked up with the Broncos for breaking the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
While he was injured this off-season, the Panthers had versatile safety Myles Hartsfield taking over nickel snaps. Hartsfield was an undrafted safety out of Ole Miss, he originally worked out as both a safety and running back with Carolina before settling on the defensive side of the ball.
Hartsfield is young and inexperienced, he saw limited action last year where he was targeted 11 times in the passing game, allowing 8 completions and coming away with an overall PFF grade of just 59.6. If the Panthers do indeed line him up against the Jets slot receiver, that’s a matchup that Mike LaFleur has to like.