If most Jets fans feel like me, it was a rough week. Since being a fan of the green and white since 1964, the Patriots game last Sunday was one of the worse games to sit through. The combination of being unprepared after the bye and watching Bill Belichick smirk, plus not standing up to the opposing team after that sideline hit to Zach Wilson was as much as I could bear. And I know I shouldn’t let these games affect me. It was not the best formula for a 68-year old who will always bleed green. On to the Cincinnati Bengals!
The Jets-Bengals game can be another blowout with the Jets being on the short end. The Jets are playing at their lowest level I’ve seen in a while. Jets fans didn’t think that things could get any worse after the Adam Gase era but the floor seems to be getting lower and lower at speeds not even Scotty could achieve on the Enterprise. Meanwhile the Bengals are a team on the rise coming into Met Life Stadium with a 5-2 record. After a loss to the Bears the second game of the season, the Bengals have won 4 of 5 with their only loss in overtime to the Packers. Quarterback Mike White will have his first NFL start Sunday. Newly acquired quarterback Joe Flacco will be inactive so Josh Johnson will be the back-up. The Jets linebacking crew is getting thinner and thinner losing players quicker than a Blake Cashman pulled muscle. The situation looks bleak but this is the NFL and the Jets coaching staff has got to man-up! Believe it or not I actually think the Jets have a chance to win!
Jets Game Plan On Offense
Despite Mike White looking serviceable when he first came into last week’s game, look for the Jets to dummy down the playbook. His ball floats and most of his passes look to be an interception waiting to happen. Unlike Zach Wilson, Mike White stays in the pocket and doesn’t bail out. The Bengals offense has been getting all the publicity but the if you really look close at the team, the defense is one of the best in the league. The Bengals are allowing an NFL 4th best 17.1 points per game. They blitz 20.3% of their plays and their rushing defense (league ranked 8th) is better than their passing defense (league ranked 20th). They have 19 sacks and 5 interceptions as a team. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who was almost a Jet, has 6 1/2 sacks in seven games. The other defensive end, Sam Hubbard has 4 sacks coming off a 2 1/2 sack game against the Ravens. Second year linebacker Logan Wilson is having a career year with 58 tackles and 4 interceptions. When was the last time a Jets linebacker was leading the team in interceptions? When was the last time the Jets had an interception? The secondary is serviceable and a familiar name to New Yorkers, former Giant Eli Apple plays at one of the cornerback positions. The Jets have to establish a run first. Like in previous games, the opposition knows the Jets prefer running to the left side. They also know that RG Alex Van Roten is the weak link of the line. I called for some counter plays and reverses in the Pats game and I would do the same here. The reverse to Elijah Moore went for a touchdown. The Jets need more of that and faking a punt or field goal should be in the game plan. Mike White cannot lock onto one receiver. The sample size was too small last week to determine if White has decent down field vision. Let’s hope he does.
The one thing that must be planned is when the Jets start the game, please no run, run, pass on their first three plays. They have got to do something different. And if you do a screen to Jamison Crowder, please don’t have Elijah Moore as the lead blocker.
Jets Game Plan On Defense
Quarterback Joe Burrow has been playing great. CJ Mosley is day to day and it is probably another game time decision. Wide receiver Ja’mar Chase is putting up super star numbers after having the dropsies in the pre-season. In his last three games his receiving yardage has been: 159, 97, 201 and his 6 TDs is more than the Jets receiving corp combined. The Bengals have given up 19 sacks as a team. If the Jets defensive line plays like they did against the Titans, the Jets have a chance to win. Look for the Bengals to continue to do what the Falcons and the Patriots did. Screen passes and draw plays will be plentiful until the Jets can stop them. Running back Joe Mixon is dangerous. He is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and is 3rd in the league with 539 yards. Besides Chase, wide receiver Tee Higgins at 6’4’ is a handful and Tyler Boyd is excellent as the 3rd receiver. Tight end C.J. Uzomah is real good! He already has 5 TD receptions and is averaging 15.1 yards per catch. The Jets need to try and pressure Burrow and should blitz at least one linebacker or a secondary player in every pass situation. This is a high risk move with the Bengals receivers but if they play them straight up, the Jets have no chance in this game.
Jets Winning Formula
The Jets have got to do something different this game. Any kind of advantage before both teams take the field should be tried. On defense I would play only two linebackers and start Javelin Guidry to play up in the box and in the secondary a la Jamal Adams. The Jets would be giving up some bulk but adding speed. Guidry who has become one of the Jets best tacklers should be the blitzing player. I would also have Ashtyn Davis blitz at times. The weakest part of the Bengals offensive line is the right interior. Right guard (sound familiar) Jackson Carman is the weakest player on the line and center Trey Hopkins who is average at best is coming off an ACL injury. The Jets defensive line should rip those two players apart all game.
On offense it looks like Corey Davis is out! If he were to play I would start Denzel Mims and Davis. Because of their height, they are taller than the Bengals defensive backs. If Davis is out, Keelan Cole should start. Also I would activate WR Jeff Smith. This former Boston College quarterback threw 93 times for over 400 yards before BC converted him to wide receiver. How about putting a wildcat package in with Smith? No opponent has seen it this year and his 4.38 40-yard time is a great asset. I’m not a huge fan of Jeff Smith and I know he is no Brad Smith, but I beg Mike Lafleur to try something that is not predictable and be creative. As mentioned above, the Jets have to try some gimmick plays. The Jets must score first if they have any chance at all.
Take Offs and Landings
…..Nathan Shepard didn’t have a penalty against the Pats. A step in the right direction…..Fans are mad about giving up a conditional 6th (could turn into a 5th) for Joe Flacco. I’m more upset about giving up a 6th for Shaq Lawson…..Arizona Cardinal JJ Watt tore his labrum, tore his bicep, tore his rotator cuff and dislocated his shoulder. Still continued to play. Talk about changing a culture. Love guys like this!…..Hardest job in the US isn’t being President. It’s the person who keeps updating the Jets depth chart on their web site…..JD’s 2020 draft is looking worse and worse…..If you get down on the Jets OL, focus in on Alijah Vera-Tucker for a few plays. He’ll bring a smile…..Brandon Echols looked so silly on one of the Pats screen plays, I was embarrassed for the kid…..Quincy Williams makes one “wow” play or hit a game. Most other times he is out of position or overruns the play…..Michael Carter is inches from breaking one…..The Jets will get their first interception Sunday…..I’m a little disappointed in the La’Mical Perine situation. I really thought he had potential…..I’m a fair weather fan for college quarterbacks. Right now I’m on the Pitt Panther Kenny Pickett bandwagon. And he’s from Oakhurst NJ….
Marty Schupak has been a New York Jets football fan since 1964. Ray Clifford another lifelong fan contributed to this article. Their blog and Podcast are both at:
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