Week 13: Arizona Cardinals At New York Jets
- QuarterbackThe Cardinals have been under the gun all season because quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have almost no mobility. That’s a problem when you have an offensive line that can’t block at all. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has turned the quarterback chores over to Ryan Lindley, and he’s almost certainly not the answer. Lindley has thrown four interceptions and has yet to throw a TD pass.Mark Sanchez has had many embarrassing moments this season. The worst of which came when he ran into guard Brandon Moore’s backside in Week 12, fumbled the ball and saw it returned for a touchdown by the Patriots. Sanchez lacks accuracy and often leaves his receivers in a vulnerable position with his poor throws.
- OffenseRunning back Beanie Wells returned to the lineup against the Rams after missing the previous seven games with a foot injury. He scored two touchdowns, but it was not enough to keep the Cardinals in the game. However, if he can run the ball against the Jets, it should open things up for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.The Jets need to keep the game close so Rex Ryan can employ his running game. Shonn Greene has taken quite a bit of blame, but when opponents know your passing game is null and void, it’s easy to shut down a running game. Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schillens can get open, but they don’t always hold on to the ball when Sanchez delvers an accurate pass.
- DefenseThe Cardinals can rush the passer. If they are going to win again this season, it’s likely because they put constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks from linebackers Daryl Washington and O’Brien Schofield. Washington has a team-leading 95 tackles and he also has nine sacks. Schofield can also get to the quarterback (four sacks). Patrick Peterson is one of the best cover corners in the league.While the Jets have major issues on offense, the defense deserves to be scrutinized as well. The Jets got beaten badly by the Patriots and they were constantly being shoved backwards by the Patriots offensive line. Head coach Rex Ryan can’t allow this to happen anymore. Linebacker David Harris plays with effort and efficiency. He has a team-high 85 tackles.
- Special TeamsPlacekicker Jay Feely has one of the most powerful legs in the NFL and he has made 18-of-21 FG attempts this season, including a 60-yarder against Buffalo earlier in the year. Dave Zastudil is a solid directional punter who has dropped 27 punts inside the 20.The Jets have suffered as a result of their special teams play this year. This has been a strength in previous years, but the Jets have failed to hold up their end on both kickoff and punt coverage. Placekicker Nick Folk has made 15-of-18 field goal attempts and he has made 3-of-3 attempts from 50 yards and beyond.
This is not one of the better matchups of the week. Both teams have played pitiful football for long stretches. The Jets have the advantage of playing at home. Their defense should be able to dominate the worst offensive line in football.