There will be three distinct keys to a New York Jets victory against the Giants on Sunday, and here they are.
1. Attack on offense and dominate time of possession
By Jeff Jarboe
Fresh off of a four-touchdown performance against Miami last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets offense will look to keep the ball rolling against the NFL’s 32nd ranked defense this week in the New York Giants.
Fitz is taking care of the ball once again and the offensive line is finally health for the Jets, so I expect them to try and assert their dominance early on and push the tempo. If they can get this jumbled Giants defense on their heels early, they’ll have them caught in a guessing game for the remainder of the afternoon.
Ivory seems to be recovered (for the mean time) from his hamstring injury and looks as explosive as he did Week 1. Marshall and Decker are both coming off of big games against Miami (14 rec, 193 yds, 3 tds combined). Shoot, even Devin Smith got into the action last week, and could see the endzone Sunday against the Giants (he can burn you…).
The point is, the Jets have weapons. More weapons than the Giants can handle. But it will be up to Fitzpatrick and the coaching staff to get the ball to the playmakers and put the Giants defense on their heels early.
2. Pressure Eli
If all goes well with key number one, the Jets offense will dominate time of possession and Eli Manning won’t have much time to work with in this game. Regardless of how much time Eli has with the ball though, the Jets defense is going to be bringing the heat.
The biggest area of concern for the New York Giants is on the right side with right tackle Marshall Newhouse. Newhouse has struggled all season long in pass protection. According to ProFootballFocus, he currently ranks as the 76th overall tackle (out of 78 qualifying players) and ranks in the bottom five in pass blocking efficiency. Last week against Washington he allowed three sacks, a hit, and five QB hurries. Newhouse was on the injury report all week however and may not be active against NYJ, in which case rookie Bobbie Hart will get the start.
I expect Todd Bowles to give Newhouse/Hart a variety of different looks between pass rushers Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and rookies Leonard Williams and Lorenzo Mauldin IV. Eli’s been great this year, but everyone knows the guy makes questionable throws when under pressure.
Whether they have their security blanket in Darrelle Revis or not, the New York Jets have to pressure Eli Manning. If they can do that, and the last thing on this list, the Giants offense will burn out.
3. Stop Odell Beckham Jr.
With Revis out, the Jets don’t have someone who can follow ODB all game long and go into shutdown mode. It will be interesting to see if Todd Bowles has the next man up take on the shutdown duties and follow Odell everywhere he goes, or if he plays more of a zone and give the second-year wideout some different looks.
While the New York Jets remain fairly deep at the position, I wouldn’t feel comfortable tossing one of those guys out there in one-on-one coverage against Beckham on Sunday (maybe Buster because he has the speed and physicality to keep up with OBJ).
Double him with a safety over the top, chip him with a linebacker off the line and over the middle–whatever it takes to prevent this guy from touching the ball, the Jets have to do it. He’s going to get his touches, and he’ll make at least one of the Jets defenders look silly, but the key is to make sure they don’t let him beat them for a big play.
Eli has targeted him more in recent weeks and will look to do the same with Revis out. As long as the safeties give Skrine and Cromartie help over the top and the pass rush pressures Eli as often as they should, the Jets will be alright. But if Odell gets going, the New York Jets can kiss this game goodbye.