Everything is bigger in New York. That especially is true with the soap operas. No one seems to enjoy simple old-fashioned competence. There has to be something to fight about and there is plenty to fight about in the Meadowlands. In this case, it is Robert Salah, the offense in general, and Zach Wilson specifically. Wilson is proof enough that quarterbacks taken in the top five overall are hardly guarantees.
Still, we have to leave that aside and look at everything. The New York Jets are capable of winning football games. They’ve won four of them this year and have been in a few other games until the bitter end. So, as per usual, we start with the top five players from each team according to PFF. Scores over 80 usually represent Pro Bowl type performance. Scores over 70 usually are reserved for solid starters.
New York Jets Top Five
DT Quinnen Williams— 90.8
LB C.J. Mosley— 84.3
CB D.J. Reed— 83.5
CB Sauce Gardner— 83.4
LB Quincy Williams— 80.2
Not that it matters, but the Jets probably get five guys on defense to the Pro Bowl. As bad as their offense is (and it is bad), their defense is a legitimately top five defense. They have ten guys on defense that scored 70 or higher according to PFF and that is only considering the guys that have played enough to qualify. Five guys alone are in the secondary. C.J. Stroud and the passing offense will have their work cut out for them on Sunday.
Houston Texans Top Five
LB Blake Cashman— 89.8
WR Nico Collins— 87.7
QB C.J. Stroud— 84.6
DE Will Anderson—- 80.7
WR Noah Brown— 79.7
I don’t know if all four of the guys over 80 will get to the Pro Bowl. I imagine that Cashman might have some difficulty getting recognition at linebacker and Will Anderson might not have the pure numbers to get there. The other two can already book their reservation. Nico Collins needs nine more yards to get to 1,000 and Stroud is on pace to pass for more than 5,000 yards.
What will the Jets offense try to do to the Texans?
This one is a bit of a misnomer. The Jets rank 31st in total yards, 29th in rushing yards, and 31st in passing yards. Breeze Hall is a dangerous back and Delvin Cook has a lot of pelts on the wall, but you eventually have to throw the football. To put it simply, this offense can’t score on its own. Now, if they get a few short fields from their defense or special teams then all bets are off. Their defense likely hold the Houston Texans under 20 points, so they just need to find the end zone at least once and then they have a chance.
What will the Jets defense try to do to the Texans?
The Jets have the third best passing defense in football and the 29th best rushing defense in football. Of course, those are according to the total yards. I imagine that teams run more on the Jets because they are either in a dogfight with them or play a considerable amount ahead. The Jets can’t score enough to take you out of your rushing game. I’m sure a comprehensive study would show that they get progressively worse as the game continues in that department. The Jets have to get turnovers to win. So, they would just as soon see you pass.
What will the Texans offense try to do to the Jets?
This is kind of game where teams can find themselves and their identity. The numbers would indicate that the Texans should run the ball. It’s a trap. The Texans can’t run the ball. They’ve had one really good game running the ball and one pretty good game. The other ten games have been like watching a kid trying to hammer a circular block into a square hole. This team passes the ball really well. They are second in passing yards. Yup, that’s the strength of the Jets defense. Dominant teams do what they do best and they do it consistently no matter who is on the other side. You think the Chiefs are taking it out of Mahomes hands because another team has a tough pass defense? They say bring it on. I say give the ball to Stroud and say “bring it on.”
What will the Texans defense try to do to the Jets?
I can’t imagine a much worse quarterback situation than the one the Jets have currently. Maybe Aaron Rodgers comes back before the end of the season. Until then they have the football equivalent of Edward Scissorhands at quarterback. You want them to have long fields and you want Zach Wilson in obvious passing situations. If you do that early and often you could bury them in an avalanche where they have to pass the ball. Then, you own them.