This upcoming Sunday, The New York Jets (4-4) face off with the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4). Both teams are desperate for a win and are trying to poke their heads above the mediocre .500 records they have accumulated.
For the New York Jets, the winning formula this weekend is obvious, stop Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars most dynamic player, leads the league in touchdowns with 11 and accounts for 66 of the team's 157 points or 42 percent.
It sounds simple enough, but considering he's scored six touchdowns in his past three games, it may prove difficult. MJD is fast, strong, and doesn't shy away from contact (ask Shawne Merriman).
So how will the Jets' 13th-ranked rushing defense stop the Jags' scoring machine? The Jets have an advantage over most teams, because they can bring a safety closer to the line to focus on run stopping and leave Darrelle Revis on an island.
Eight men in the box and a healthy amount of run blitzing should force the Jaguars to throw the football into the teeth of the NFL's second-ranked passing defense. Which if your a Jets fan, you want.
Still, stopping MJD may prove fruitless and if the Jets fail to make the Jags one dimensional, he will hurt them eventually.
For me, it's difficult to envision the Jets losing this game, they're coming off a bye week. Two weeks is more than enough for Rex Ryan to put together a scheme to stop the Jags offense and Jacksonville's 21st-ranked rushing defense should provide plenty of opportunities for the Jets to move the ball.
Whatever the result, the vanquished will fall from the ranks of the playoff hopeful and the vanquisher will keep their January wishes alive.