|Written by Chris Coleman.
Could this be the last night of the Mark Sanchez era in New York? If the Jets donít win Monday night, their chances of missing the playoffs will look very grim. And with the Indianapolis Colts and their pathetic defense on the horizon, it seems that would be as good a time as any to give Tebow a shot.
So, needless to say, this game matters a lot for the Jets. The problem is, it also means a lot to the Texans. With the Falcons facing a feisty Redskins team, the Texans are on the verge of possibly becoming the only undefeated team in football. And Gary Kubiak and Co. would love nothing better than to show the world who the Texans are now, doing it on a national stage in the biggest media market in America.
And donít think this season is a fluke. The Texans were a drive away from going to the AFC championship last year with a third-string quarterback and without their best wide receiver.†
Now weíre seeing what they can do at full strength. The Texans are led by gutsy QB Matt Schaub, but they will likely spend as much time attacking on the ground as they do through the air against a Jets team that seems too old and slow to stop the run. The Texans are masters of misdirection, so they will likely keep the Jets front off balance much of the night. When the Jets wobble, Schaub will strike. The Texans consistently picked up third downs last week, and they will likely do the same Monday against a Jets defense they can run ragged.
The Jets are running into a buzz-saw in the Texans defense, not exactly the best time for them to fix their offensive woes, exemplified by their weak 20 point per-game average. The Jets run game has been miserable, but they canít become one-dimensional or the Texans will pick Sanchez apart.†
Sanchez has looked rough this year, and his line hasnít helped, nor has his coaching. The Jets have picked up receivers cut by some bad team (see: Miami Dolphins) so they are obviously weak there, hurting Sanchez even more. Sanchez can deliver a solid ball when he has time, but the Texans are masters of putting pressure on the QB and getting their hands up at the line to bat down balls. Sanchez will have to rely on quick screens and play-action to try and get the Texans on their heels a bit, but the Texans have a fast and smart linebacking crew.†
While Sanchez has done a good job of protecting the ball, he will likely be running for his life against the Texans. His inability to get good quick reads with his receivers will end up flushing him from the pocket. Donít be surprised if the fumble from Sanchez is more problematic than the interception come Monday night. The young quarterback will need to have one of the best games of his career to keep the Texans offense of the field. And if he canít, this may be his last start of the season.
The line: Jets 8 Ĺ
The pick: Texans -8.5
Last updated on October 08, 2012.