Game of the Week: Jets-Saints
New York is firm in its philosophy about standout quarterbacks: the way to beat them is to attack with everything you've got. So expect Brees to get a treatment similar to what
So here's the question: does Ryan adapt? Or does he stand pat against a Saints team that is built to beat the blitz?
The alternative, Giants Stadium, would've been a welcome site for the Jets, who have had the benefit of a particularly raucous home crowd this season in wins against the Patriots and Titans. No such luck in Week 4, and that shouldn't be overlooked, especially given New York's rookie quarterback,
Just as important is a strong start to the game, and that's been a problem for the young quarterback, who has three first-quarter fumbles in three games. Consider the Jets' first three offensive series in each of their first two games. Against Houston in Week 1, they went:
Against New England in Week 2 they started with:
1. Three-and-out in a drive that included a Sanchez fumble, which the Jets recovered inside their own 20-yard line.
New York finally righted the ship with two opening scoring drives against Tennessee in Week 3 (aided by a Titans fumble on a kickoff), but those first two games are hard to ignore.
Here's why it all matters: If New York repeats the slow starts it had against Houston and New England, New Orleans will be up 14-0 before Ryan has a chance to blink. In the bigger picture, if the Jets don't control some clock and chew up some yards, their defense will wear down, just as the Bills' defense eventually did late in the fourth quarter against the Saints last week. Through three games, the Jets have more three-and-out series, 15, than every team but the 49ers. And if that trend continues on Sunday it could make for an exasperating final 15 minutes for the Jets' defense.
"With all those DBs on the report, you would think I would feel nervous, but we're only playing New Orleans," he joked after Wednesday's session. "So I'm not really worried about having to cover anybody with Drew Brees and somebody right there."
Bring on the Saints.
Every week, I'll lend my thoughts on a few particularly startable or sit-worthy players. Here's who's I like in this Week 4 matchup:
I don't like the Saints' offensive line, especially at left tackle, where
But I just can't bring myself to believe the Jets rookie quarterback corrects all of the offense's problems that I described in one game and then carries his team to a win -- because that's what it would take. Maybe in December, at the Meadowlands, and after a dozen more starts. But not Sunday.