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Game Preview: Jacksonville Jaguars Face Physical New York Jets Team on Sunday

September 16th, 2011 at 3:37 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

The Jacksonville Jaguars will head up north to take on the New York Jets this Sunday at 1 p.m. 
Both teams are coming off season-opening wins. For the Jets, this is a chance to establish their dominance after narrowly defeating the Dallas Cowboys last week. The Jaguars on the other hand would definitely turn some heads with this upset.
We’ll have plenty of game analysis for you in the next few days, but first let’s look at exactly who the Jets are.
Coming off of two consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game, outspoken head coach Rex Ryan is expecting his boys to make it to the Super Bowl this year and that’s definitely a reasonable goal. The Jets are physical on both sides of the ball and have one of the NFL’s elite defenses. First we’ll dissect the team’s offense.
Ryan likes to pound the ball but this team will only go as far as Mark Sanchez can take them. Sanchez, now in his third year in the league, has a strong arm but has struggled with accuracy early in his career. He appears to have taken strive in that department though as he completed nearly 60 percent of his passes in a 335-yard, two touchdown performance versus the Cowboys. 
Sanchez’s top targets will be Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress. They complement each other nicely and Burress has been a pleasant surprise for the team after spending the last few years in prision (we all know that story.) Burress is a tough red-zone matchup for any defensive back while Holmes will give whoever is covering him fits with his quickness. Dustin Keller is an excellent receiving threat at tight end. 
Where the Jets have the most potential is in the ground game. The Jets struggled to get anything going with tailbacks Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson last week, as they combined for just 42 yards in Week 1. Expect that to be a point of emphasis early on against the Jaguars. Greene is a thundering back but needs a little room to get going, while Tomlinson is still agile, even though he’s 32. He is also an extremely reliable target out of the backfield. 
Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold anchor a strong offensive line.  Brandon Moore is also a solid at right guard. Wayne Hunter is a huge liability for the Jets at right tackle.
This unit has been one of the NFL’s best since Ryan has arrived. The Jets’ 3-4 scheme is predicated on bringing pressure from various places and more often than not, New York is able to do that and confuse opposing quarterbacks. 
Sione Pouha may not gobble up stats like he does double teams at nose tackle, but his presence in the middle is what makes the Jets’ defense click. At 6-3, 325, he demands attention and clogs interior running lanes. This allows blitzing linebackers to come through unhindered. Muhammad Wilkerson was solid in his rookie debut at defensive end and should keep up his solid play through the year.
New York’s linebackers all fit perfectly in the 3-4 lineup. David Harris and Bart Scott are terrific, nasty inside linebackers while Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas are capable edge-rushers. There is no weakness amongst this group.
Where everything comes together though is in the secondary. Cornerback Darrelle Revis is the best in the game and is one of the few shut down corners in the league today. Antonio Cromartie is no slouch opposite of him and Kyle Wilson is a good nickel back.
Brodney Poole and Jim Leonhard are capable safeties who benefit from the team’s stellar cornerback play. Poole gets by on his athleticism while Leonhard is a crafty player who uses his instincts to make up for lack of size. 
We’ll go more in-depth with pre-game coverage tonight and tomorrow with key’s to victory, top matchups and other analytical breakdowns. 
Tags: Darrelle Revis, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, NFL, Rex Ryan

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