The New York Jets will search for just their second victory of 2016 on Monday Night, against the Arizona Cardinals, who have had some struggles of their own this season.
These two teams should know what to expect from each other. The Jets head coach (Todd Bowles) is the former defensive coordinator for Arizona, and Arizona still runs the Todd Bowles defense.
Both (defenses) are very aggressive when it comes to blitzing. This game may not be an offensive gold mine for fantasy players. Both of these defenses, in all likelihood will be taking this game personally, or at least that is what one should expect.
The Jets (1-4) are already in desperation mode. New York brought back (QB) Ryan Fitzpatrick after a decent year in 2015, the opinions that Geno Smith should be starting are growing by the week, but with an offense ranked 18th overall, and a -9 turnover ratio, the Jets are staying with Fitzgerald for now.
The big surprise has to be the Jets defense this year, which is ranked 23rd (overall). The Jets pass defense has primarily been the problem, ranking a pitiful 31st in the league. When they are playing poorly, they are giving up points like the Washington Generals.
Arizona comes in with the 13th ranked overall offense, and this is without scoring a point in the first quarter all season long. The Cardinals have benefited from their defense (ranked 8th in NFL), but the performances on both sides of the ball have only equated to two wins this season. Seattle (4-1) currently holds the lead in the NFC West, so this game is more then crucial for Arizona.
This Week’s Match Up
I’d have to say Arizona has the better QB, the better running game, the better defense, and I’d say that these teams are even on special teams. One of the big issues for Arizona has been injuries on the offensive line this year. The Cardinals have had good protection from their back ups so far, but some double tight end sets may further help the cause.
On defense, expect to see a lot of (CB) Patrick Peterson on (WR) Brandon Marshall. This should be a quality match up, but if we could see a lot of Markus Golden and Chandler Jones on Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Cardinals should be in a good position to win this game. Golden and Jones have combined for 10 sacks already in 2016, but more importantly they are creating game changing turnovers with their constant disruption.
~Give Me the Keys Playa~
Time of possession and keeping the Arizona defense off the field: Give David Johnson the ball, a lot. Finish drives in the end zone, not on third downs or between the uprights. Get ahead early and stay ahead. Leaving the door open has burned the Cardinals this season, and playing from behind is a recipe for disaster.
The Trio: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John “Smokey” Brown all have to have a solid day to exploit the Jets secondary. Arizona hasn’t been productive with the deep shots down the field as of late, this needs to change on Monday night.
Turnovers: I hate to say it, but if you play against Ryan Fitzpatrick, and you don’t win the turnover battle, you kinda deserve to lose the game. I’m looking for that pick six, I’m looking for those fumbles, a dominant day by the #BirdGang would really help me sleep well at night.
~Give Me The Key Players~
Carson Palmer coming off of a concussion has to be a serious concern. Concussions are known to linger, minimizing the contact on Palmer is a must. I’d love to see a clean uniform at the end of the game, but it will take a complete team effort.
David Johnson raises the bar every week. It used to be all about the “Air-izona” offense in the desert, but this young running back brings the balance that Bruce Arians can suffocate NFL defenses with, especially in fourth quarters.
Patrick Peterson is playing some of his best football ever. If he can shut down Brandon Marshall in front of a live national audience, the rest should be smooth sailing for the Arizona defense.
Things can get out of hand when you come in just “expecting” to win. Arizona knows this all too well. There are no easy games in the NFL. Execution and focus, playing for all 4 quarters, and never letting up has to be the game plan. The Cardinals are heavily favored to win this contest, but they have to play their best if they want to stay alive in the NFC West.
The Cardinals can’t afford another bad loss at home, or that’s where they will be when the playoffs start, watching like the rest of us. Arizona needs the type of win that builds confidence, the kind of win that ignites a team moving forward. A win in dominant fashion is exactly what the Cardinals need.
More stories you might like