Posted on: October 5, 2009 10:16 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2009 10:26 pm
So the Jets went down to New Orleans on Sunday to face their toughest competition to date and left with their first loss of the season. They looked great on one side of the ball and horrific on the other. It may have looked bad on Sunday but the immediate future looks good for the Jets.
The defense looked very strong against the high powered offense of the Saints. They were able to hold QB Drew Brees to under 200 yards passing for the second game straight with no touchdowns. In fact the Saints did not score an offensive touchdown until there was about six minutes left in the game. Brees was never able to get into a serious rhythm against the Jets.
The Saints marched down the field on the opening possession and the "bend but dont break" defense of the Jets held them to a field goal. Brees only managed to throw for 190 yards, but most importantly he had no turnovers. It was the Saints running game that gave the Jets defense fits on the afternoon.
The Jets run defense, which had only been giving up about 82 yards per game on the ground, surrendered 153 yards to New Orleans, one of their worst performances over the past 2 seasons. RB Pierre Thomas, who scored the only offensive touchdown for the Saints, racked up 86 of those yards himself.
New York's defense did more than enough to win the game. They only gave up 10 points to the Saints offense on the afternoon, the same offense that was averaging about 40 points per game over the first three games. The defense just could not come up with the big play. They had no interceptions on the day. They did force the Saints to fumble twice but only recovered one of them. The one that they did recover, they turned into a touchdown.
It was the Jets offense that cost them this game. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez looked like a rookie for the first time on Sunday. The Saints had Sanchez looking confused all day. They forced the Jets QB to throw three interceptions and forced him to fumble which led to a touchdown for the Saints defense. On the Jets first play of the second quarter, Sanchez took the ball on the Saints 15 yard line and fired a pass to TE Dustin Keller in the end zone. Except it was picked off by S Darren Sharper on the 1 yard line and taken all the way back for a touchdown. Instead of the Jets taking a 7-3 lead, they were down 10-0.
Sanchez was confused all day and got limited help from anyone else on the offense, namely the running game. Jets RB's Thomas Jones and Leon Washington were not able to get anything going against an improved Saints defense. Combined, they only managed 65 yards on 17 carries. Washington only was able to grab 4 of those carries. He is a key to the Jets being successful this season and he needs to get the ball more than 10 times per game. That was not to be on this afternoon.
The bottom line here is that the Jets lost to the better team on Sunday. The Saints controlled the game on both sides of the ball. Brees did not have a huge game but he didn't need to. He was able to control the clock and the Saints defense did the rest. The New Orleans defense gets the game ball this week. They did something that the Jets three other opponents failed to do. Make Mark Sanchez look like a rookie.
Things will get better for Gang Green over the next four weeks. They have the Dolphins twice, the Bills and the Raiders coming up before their bye week. The defense continues to improve and will get even better with the return of LB Calvin Pace this week. We will see what kind of team the Jets are going to be next week against Miami. This is the first time they will be coming off a loss and we will see how they will respond. I expect the Jets to come out mad and firing on all cylinders next week.
Posted on: October 1, 2009 4:06 pm
So what's more important, a good defense or a good offense? That's the question that will be answered this Sunday when the New York Jets bring their revamped defense down to the Big Easy to take on the high powered offense of the New Orleans Saints. Everyone says that defense wins championships, but the Saints are trying to prove that a very good offense can get you to a championship. Both units will be put to the test on Sunday.
New York's defensive unit will face its biggest test of the 2009 season so far, going up against QB Drew Brees and the Saints offense. Brees has been off the charts over the past two seasons. In 2008, Brees threw for 5069 yards and 34 touchdowns. So far, three weeks into this season, he has 841 yards and 9 touchdowns. Brees' career has really taken off in New Orleans and the Saints have all the tools around him to make a successful run at the playoffs in 2009.
Brees' number one target in the passing game is WR Marques Colston. So far this season he only has 195 yards receiving through three games, but he has 15 receptions with 3 of them going for touchdowns. He will be matched up with Jets Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis. All Revis has been able to do this season has been shutting down Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Justin Gage in successive weeks. The key for Revis will be keeping Colston out of the end zone.
The Jets are hurting a little in the secondary with Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland still nursing injuries and are questionable for Sunday. Revis and S Kerry Rhodes are also a little banged up, but they will be in the lineup on Sunday. The Jets have to do their best to take away the receivers and make the Saints beat them in other ways.
That's where the defensive line comes in. Last week against in Buffalo, the Bills held Brees to only 172 yards passing. The flip side to that was that the Saints ran the ball for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Jets run defense is ranked 9th in the NFL giving up 82 yards per game on the ground. If the secondary is able to keep the receivers quiet, then the defensive line will have their hands full with RB's Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush.
The front seven of the Jets defense will need to keep pressure on Drew Brees and the running backs. It will be tough but I'm sure Rex Ryan has a good game plan in place.
One player that could end up having a good game is Saints TE Jeremy Shockey. So far this season, he been able to haul in 14 catches in the first three games. The Jets gave up some yards last week to Titans TE Alge Crumpler, so Shockey could be a huge factor in this game. Expect the Saints to use short passes to Shockey and quick screens to Bush to help them control the clock.
On the other side of the ball is the Jets offense led by rookie QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is having a good year by rookie standards so far with 606 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has only thrown two interceptions through three games, but does have 4 fumbles. Sanchez, the NFL's offensive rookie of the month in September, has been working on protecting the ball better in the pocket. As expected, he has made a few mistakes this season, but not when it counts. He has been very solid during the important moments of the games so far.
The Saints secondary is ranked 22nd in the NFL against the pass, giving up 245 yards per game through the air. Sanchez will have to try to expose this so he can open things up for the running game. He does have the luxury of passing to WR Jerricho Cotchery, who is currently 3rd in the NFL with 285 yards. Throw in TE Dustin Keller and WR Chansi Stuckey with Sanchez' pocket presence and the Jets should be successful through the air on Sunday.
A main key for New York is to get the ground game going to control the game clock. Last week against the Titans, RB Thomas Jones was only able to get 20 yards on 14 carries. The Saints running defense is currently ranked 5th in the league, giving up 67 yards on the ground per game. Jones and Leon Washington got plenty of carries last week but could not get the yards against Tennessee. New Orleans defense has really improved since last season and may have a good day against the Jets running backs.
They key on offense this week for Gang Green is try to establish the running game against the Saints. If they can do this, then the passing lanes will open up even more on a poor Saints secondary. They have to establish the run and keep Drew Brees and Co. off the field. The key on defense is to keep the pressure on Brees. Get him confused and try to force him into a mistake. But do not over do it on the blitz or he will burn you. The Saints offense is too talented and will find ways to score.
I have confidence that the Jets can win this game. As long as they can keep the Saints offense some what in check, then I believe their offense can do enough to win. But they are going to have to put some points on the board. Jets head down south and take it 28-24.