The Houston Texans will play the New York Jets in Metlife Stadium tonight on Monday Night Football. The Texans remain undefeated after a big divisional win last weekend while the Jets are reeling after being blown out by the 49ers at home.
Here are the biggest talking points heading into tonight's matchup between two teams going in opposite directions:
Houston DE J.J. Watt will look to make Mark Sanchez's night miserable. Watt has been on a tear so far. He's recorded 7.5 sacks and has recovered two fumbles through the Texans' first four games.
Despite New York's shaky offensive line, Sanchez has only been sacked seven times this season. Watt will try to bring that number up as he will likely attack Austin Howard, the weakest link of the Jets' offensive line.
If Watt has his way, this could be a long night for the New York Jets' offense.
Down and Out
In two successive weeks, the New York Jets lost their best defensive and offensive players for the season. Last week, the Jets responded to the injury of All Pro CB Darrelle Revis by laying down against a very physical San Francisco team. Tonight, we will see how the team responds to the loss of their biggest playmaker, WR Santonio Holmes.
The Jets will need their young players to step up if they are to have any chance of winning this game. They are relying on third year CB Kyle Wilson to step up on defense. Second year WR Jeremy Kerley has suddenly found himself in the unlikely position of the Jets' number one wideout.
Despite the tough opponent, if those two play well tonight, the Jets can feel a lot better about their season.
Foster vs Jets Defense
RB Arian Foster is off to another solid year for the Houston Texans. His 380 rushing yards on the season leave him just outside of the top 10. His 3.7 yards per carry, however, is only good for 34th in the NFL.
Foster has also not had the same level of success catching the ball as he's become accustomed to. He's only caught nine balls for 44 yards this season. His six total touchdowns may be keeping his fantasy owners happy, but the Texans expect more production from him in between the endzones.
He should be able to find that production tonight against the New York Jets' defense. Rex Ryan's defenses have been known as being hard-nosed run stoppers, but this year's unit has had trouble keeping opposing RBs at bay. The team is ranked 26th in rushing yards allowed and is giving up 4.9 yards per carry.
The question on everyone's mind is how short has Mark Sanchez's leash become after last week's debacle against the 49ers. Whether or not Tim Tebow gives the Jets a better chance of winning, one has to imagine that Sanchez will not survive many more performances like last week's.
Sanchez's 69.6 quarterback rating through the first four games is third worst among starters in the NFL this year. His five TD to four INT ratio looks worse when one considers that he threw three TD in a Week 1 blowout against the Buffalo Bills.
If Sanchez gets off to another slow start on national television tonight, the Tebow chants may begin early, and Rex Ryan just might listen to them.
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