How Will The Saints Ground These Jets?
By Greg Barber
Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets will be a very good test for the Saints with some very important games coming up. Not that this game is any less significant because the Saints do need to win this game to stay in contention for home-field advantage.
This game is a test for the Saints because the matchups will become more and more physical as each game goes on. If they can match the physicality of the Jets, they will be able to match up well with teams like the 49ers and the Seahawks. Most people don't give Rex Ryan a lot of credit as a head coach, but the truth is he definitely deserves more respect, especially with this season’s team he has actually done a lot better than expected with a rookie quarterback and no real wide receiver threat.
Here are three things the Saints will need to win this game:
The Saints cannot underestimate the Jets offense:
When you look at the Jets receivers, no one in particular scares you, but the truth is they find a way to get the job done. There is not a clear number one receiver, so this means Jets quarterback Geno Smith will try to spread the ball around and find a hot receiver.
But the big key to their passing game will be their running game, and it will be necessary for the Saints to shut it down early in the game. Bilal Powell is not a dynamic running back but if he gets going he can be a problem. And that goes the same with former Saints running back Chris Ivory—he can be a terror if he gets going.
The Saints defense will have to keep Geno Smith on his back; if they can pressure him and get to him a few times to hurt his confidence early it will go a long way.
The Saints offense will have an opportunity for big plays:
If the Saints can keep the Jets front seven off of quarterback, Drew Brees will be able to make some big plays against the Jets secondary. Pass and run blocking have been a problem all season long for the Saints, and they really need to be on their game or the Jets defensive line will wreak havoc on the offense.
If the Saints can get the running game going, the offense can control the Jets front seven and put the whole Jets defense in tremendous trouble. The big plays will be there if Drew has time to find them, and this leads into the final point.
Do not allow the Jets to hang around:
Allowing the Jets to stay close in this game could spell a loss for the Saints. In three of their wins, there were two things that happened in every one of those Jets victories.
1. The Jets were within one score of winning the game.
2. The Jets were allowed the chance for a last drive to win the game.
In three of the Jets four losses, their opponent took control of the game. They jumped on, and they did not let the Jets up, and the Saints must do the same. If this becomes a nail biter this is going to bite the Saints in the rear end.
If the Saints play their game and do not let off the gas this will be a significant win for the Saints.
Prediction: Saints 31, Jets 14