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With one pass-rushing situation proving to be crucial for the New York Jets, another proves to be crucial for St. Louis. However, Rams defensive end Robert Quinn might have a little bit tougher time come Sunday than Wilkerson will have against Smith.
Without a doubt, Quinn's development from year one to year two has been exactly what they hoped for when they drafted him in 2011. Last year he flashed as a pass-rusher by garnering six sacks, nine quarterback hits and 21 hurries. Not bad numbers by any means, considering Quinn wasn't an every-down rusher and he was only 21 years of age last season.
Moreover, he didn't play the run all that well and at times lacked the strength to work his way up and down the line in pursuit situations. Fortunately for Coach Fisher, Quinn is now a more consistent player all around. He shows the ability to get to the quarterback almost every snap and his play against the run is average. Struggles still pop up from time to time, but very few care to focus the run game when a player has nine sacks, seven hits and 20 hurries through nine games.
With teams throwing the ball around more than ever before, clubs aren't as focused on stopping the run like they were in year's past.
Granted, not much has gone right for the Jets this season on either side of the ball, yet here and there they have a few standout players that go unnoticed by the mainstream media. I mentioned Wilkerson in the previous slide, but let's talk about D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Quinn's matchup on Sunday.
When you turn on the tape and break down his numbers, you may have a hard time finding a better pass-blocking offensive tackle in all of football. On the season he has only given up 13 total quarterback pressures—zero sacks, three hits and 10 hurries. And by looking at his schedule it's easy to see he has had some pretty battles through Week 10.
He stonewalled guys like Chris Clemons, Chandler Jones and Aldon Smith. With two All-Pro players in Ferguson and Nick Mangold up front, one would think Mark Sanchez would be a better quarterback by now.
Can Quinn garner pressure on Ferguson and force him into allowing his first sack of the year, or will the left tackle's impressive no-sack streak from 2011 continue on into Week 12?