Preview: New York Jets Vs. New Orleans Saints
The 3-0 New York Jets, the red headed step brother, to the New York Giants, takes it's undefeated season and puts it on the line at the NFL's most prolific offense, the New Orleans Saints 3-0 Sunday afternoon in the Superdome in New Orleans.
The perfect scenario when the indestructable force comes across the immoveable object in a test of strengths between two of the NFL least most likely undefeated teams.
The Jets in the glory of their honeymoon season with their new first year head coach Rex Ryan has turned the clock back to 1985 when Rex's dad, the now infamous Buddy Ryan and his famed "46" defense ruled and intimidated the NFL.
The Jets in the first three games have outscored their opponents 64-33 and have held them to two offensive touchdowns. That is just flat out stifling defense.
Led by Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis, the Jets are annoying the heck out their opponents with plenty of pre-game trash talk but have been backing up that talk with outstanding play on both sides of the ball.
The offense is led by rookie first round Quarterback and USC alum Mark Sanchez. Now nobody is going to confuse Mark with either brother Manning but he certainly seems to resemble last year's first time rookie quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan.
As said in previous articles about this team, the thing that stands out most with Sanchez is his poise under pressure. Now it's one thing to handle that pressure while at home in a very supportive environment but this week figures to be the exact opposite that Sanchez has had to face in his last two games at home against New England and Tennessee.
This Sunday he will be indoors in one of the loudest stadiums in the league as 60,000 screaming Saints fans will sound more like a half a million. This will be Sanchez biggest test to date and the very future of the Jets season may very depend on how he does in this extremely hostile environment.
The New Orleans Saints is another of the NFL teams that has tugged at the heartstrings of it's fans for years. For example,last year, most writers predicted a division crown for the Saints but they came up short going 8-8 while showing glances of brilliance under the leadership and passing prowess of Drew Brees.
The inconsistency of their play and their defensive holes managed to disappoint themselves as well as the fans.
This past off season Drew Brees worked out at 5:30 A.M. every morning with a group of Marines. While consumed by their work ethics he picked up on a number of chants they did during the workout. Brees brought these chants back to the Saints and they have adopted them as their own as he believes that these will be their jumping off point to a championship season.
So far so good.
After breezing through a rather easy opponent pre-season, the Saints turned on the burners for their first three games and have not let up since.
In their opener they ripped the Lions ( no big deal there) by putting up a 45 on the scoreboard. A great deal more impressive however were their next two road games. The first was in Philadelphia where they easily manhandled the Donovan McNabb less Eagles 48-22 which some writers feel might have been an early preview to the NFC Championship game.
Last week was their most impressive appearance to date. On the road in Buffalo they beat a determined Bills team 27-7 while completely shutting down Terrel Owens to zero completions. Now the Bills are not considered an offensive juggernaut, but the Saints were very pleased with their overall defensive effort.
In order for the Saints to win this game they will have to play another great defensive game and hold down the Jets running attack. If they keep the Jets offense off the field they feel that Drew Brees can light up any defensive scheme out there.
If the Jets are to win this game they must be relentless in putting pressure on Brees and knock him down and around and get him out of his rhythm. If they do that, the Saints still have plenty of defensive questions especially in their secondary. Remember this is still the same team that gave up 27 points to the Lions and over 300 passing yards to second string Eagles Quarterback Kevin Kobb.
Prediction: Jets 24 Saints 21 in a close game to be decided by a field goal with less than one minute left in the game.
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