One team talks the talk, the other walks the walk. The leagues most over-covered, over hyped team over the last several years hosts one of the leagues best teams. Several years ago the Jets grabbed the final playoff spot over the Texans based a tie-breaker they won with a 24-7 victory at Reliant Stadium and pulled off a couple of upsets reaching the AFC Championship Game. The Jets reached the AFC Championship game again in the following season but since then the two teams have gone in different directions. The two teams have been built in the image our their coach recently with the Jets adding players that grabbed them more headlines than wins while the Texans quietly went about their business, didn't predict to the media that they would win the Super Bowl each season, and have built up a deep talented roster capable of making a Super Bowl run. All eyes will be on these two teams on Monday night; here's what to look for.
The fourth year quarterback has struggled this season and will likely be in for a long night on Monday. With the exception of Peyton Manning, the Texans haven't faced any elite quarterbacks but they've made those quarterbacks looks much worse than they did in other games. Here's the proof:
Week One Vs. Houston - 219 yards passing, 55.6% completion, 0 touchdowns/3 interceptions, 39 QB rating
Week Two Vs. Oakland - 200 yards passing, 60% completion, 1 touchdown/0 interceptions, 91 QB rating
Against Houston - 53 yards passing, 36.8% completion, 2.79 yards per attempt, 62.8 QB rating
Other Teams (Colts & Vikings) - 207.5 yards passing per game, 55% completion, 6.92 yards per attempt, 93.4 QB rating
Against Houston (Week Three) - 50% completions, 6.35 yards per attempt, 83 QB rating.
Against Oakland (Week Four) - 78.9% completions, 8.89 yards per attempt, 130 QB rating.
I would have included Jake Locker, but the Texans knocked him out of the game during the first quarter. In four games this season, Mark Sanchez completed 50% or better of his passes only once, had a QB rating of better than 70 only once, and has five touchdowns to four interceptions this season. Point is, Sanchez is a bad quarterback already and may lose his job after Monday night. I'm not suggesting that Tim Tebow is a better quarterback, but if they get humiliated again, this time in prime time, they may be forced to make a move. I don't believe Sanchez has a chance to play well on Monday both because of the great defense he's facing and because he doesn't have any great receivers to throw to; the best of which (Santonio Holmes) will miss the game with a leg injury. Unless the Texans offense turns the ball over 3+ times, I don't see a way for the Jets to score enough to win this game.
Arian Foster Needs A Breakout Game:
Foster is averaging 95 yards per game this season (his second best per game average) but is only averaging 3.7 yards per carry; the lowest average of this career. I believe most of the struggles in the run game have been caused by the change in the blockers in front of Foster. Eric Winston is a better run blocker than Derek Newton, Mike Brisiel is a better run blocker than either Caldwell or Ben Jones, and just as important they don't currently have a tight end that can seal the edge as well as Joel Dreesen did while with the Texans. Foster and the run game need a "get well" game where they can put up a big number, build confidence, and hopefully start to run more effectively each week. The Jets rank 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed (172.8 per game), 32nd in rushing touchdowns allowed (seven), 28th in yards per carry allowed (4.9) and tied for 30th place in 20+ yard rushes allowed (five). I thought last week against the Titans would be their get well week but they struggled; if they struggle again on Monday, they might have a major problem.