Houston Texans vs. New York Jets: Key Storylines in Monday Night Matchup
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Still one of the leagues undefeated teams, the dynamic tandem of Andre Johnson and Arian Foster will be instrumental if the Texans want to stay perfect against a woeful Jets' team that has struggled on both sides of the ball. If the Jets are to pull an upset, it will take some resilience following the loss of Santonio Holmes—undoubtedly their best offensive weapon.
Here are a few key story lines you should pay attention to on Monday night.
Andre Johnson and the Jets' Secondary
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Andre Johnson's physicality and hands at the wide receiver position makes him one of the leagues' best talents. Now, on Monday night, he will continue to play a big role if the Texans are going to roll over the Jets.
Johnson has excellent hands and his ability to extend plays beyond the point of reception makes him a major threat for a Jets' secondary that is still without their standout cornerback, Darelle Revis.
Johnson will probably have a big night, and if he does, the Texans are hoping it will be enough to stay perfect against the Jets' 6th ranked passing defense.
Arian Foster and the Jets' Run Defense
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Arian Foster is a nightmare for opposing defenses, and tonight he'll likely be troublesome for a Jets' team that has the second-worst run defense in the league.
Foster has been a big part of the Texans' success, and if he can establish the running game, the Texans' aerial assault will be incredibly lethal.
Mark Sanchez and the Texans' Defense
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If the Jets' want to have success running the ball tonight, they need Mark Sanchez to help establish the passing game.
Although he is without Santonio Holmes, whether Holmes is there or not may not make a difference considering how much Sanchez has struggled.
Sanchez is completing less than half of all of his passes, and he appears to be having accuracy problems. His decision making at times is also questionable, and his untimely interceptions have killed a lot of their momentum on drives.
Even when receivers are wide open, Sanchez fails to make completions, and if running back Shonn Green is going to have any success on the ground, he needs Sanchez to keep the Texans' defense guessing.
Can the Jets Reduce Their Turnovers?
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After an abysmal 34-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week that featured four Jets turnovers, the Jets cannot make the same mistakes against the Texans.
Considering how ineffective their offense has been, the Jets can't continue to hurt themselves with silly interceptions and untimely fumbles. If the Texans replicate what the 49ers did last week, they are going to obliterate the Jets.
Although the scoreboard says otherwise, the Jets had multiple opportunities to get on the scoreboard last week. Unfortunately for them, key drives and momentum shifting plays were squandered due to untimely turnovers that destroyed their offensive tempo.
As long as the Jets can control the time of possession and not strand their defense with horrible field position, the home underdogs might have a shot against the undefeated Texans.