On Sunday the New York Jets (4-7) take on the Arizona Cardinals (4-7) at MetLife Stadium (1 p.m. EST). The Jets are coming off of an embarrassing performance against the Patriots while the Cardinals have lost seven in a row. This match-up is clearly for the diehards. Lets take a look at some of keys to the game from the New York Jets perspective.
Play aggressive- It is no secret that the Jets offense is struggling, but that does not mean that you take the football and go home. I would like to see the Jets go after the Cardinals with aggressive play calling. Arizona is strong against the pass (ranked 4th in the NFL), but that does not mean you cannot try play action pass on first down. Spreading the field with the passing attack opens up the running game and makes the offense more diverse. At this point a punt fest does not help anyone.
Ground and pound- While the Cardinals bring a formidable defense to the field the one area where they struggle a bit is against the run (ranked 23rd). Look for the Jets to return to their ground and pound ways utilizing all three of their running backs (Greene, Powell, and McKnight). I still would like to see Gang Green use McKnight more, but injuries could be preventing that.
Hill must step up- The Jets receiving corps is once again decimated by injuries as Chaz Schilens and Clyde Gates are questionable for Sunday. Rookie Stephen Hill must raise his game against a very good Arizona secondary. Look for the Jets to also use two tight end formations featuring Jeff Cumberland and Dustin Keller.
Attack the rookie- As of now rookie Ryan Lindley is the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. The Jets must go after Lindley and force him into poor decisions. Arizona does not have a very strong running game (30th in the NFL) so there is no reason why the Jets should not be able to get consistent pressure. Muhammad Wilkerson, who has played very well of late, could have a huge game.
Solid secondary play- The Jets secondary must play very well on Sunday as the Cardinals have several good receivers that can spread the field. Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, and Michael Floyd can all do some damage therefore Gang Green must remain consistent in coverage and prevent yards after the catch. Keep an eye on Kyle Wilson and his match-ups.
This could be a tough game to watch as both teams are struggling on offense. The Cardinals should be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Jets, but at this point who knows what to expect from Gang Green. Kerry Rhodes returns to face his former team so I have a funny feeling that the Arizona defense is going to come after Mark Sanchez and company. Can the Jets offense handle the heat? Will Gang Green’s defense bring the heat? And will there be in any noise in the crowd without Fireman Ed? All great questions at this point. Jets 16-9 without much confidence.