Florham Park, NJ – The Jets defense is more than a little banged up this week – they are going to be without Marcus Maye and Buster Skrine, and Trumaine Johnson is doubtful. Prospects of stopping Minnesota’s virulent pass attack without all of New Jack City would seem like a pipe dream, but the Jets have quality depth in the secondary. Darryl Roberts and Parry Nickerson will fill-in at corner, and Doug Middleton will start at safety.
Middleton started the first three games of the year while Maye was rehabilitating his ankle, and had a 10 tackle game against Cleveland. Roberts has started the last two weeks for the injured Johnson, and recorded two pass defenses against the Colts.
Further down the depth chart, Rashard Robinson and Juston Burris have proven they can step in and play whenever needed. Derrick Jones is yet to dress this year, but Coach Bowles said that he is developing well, and the only reason he hasn’t played is the number of guys they have.
Arguably the most important member of New Jack City, Jamal Adams was upset with his play last week. Even though he was the one that tipped the ball to Morris Claiborne for his pick-six, and forced a fumble that the offense turned into a touchdown, he did allow two long pass plays where it looked like he was in position to make a play. Adams will need to play at an all-pro level and avoid any mistakes this week to hamper budding stars Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
The Minnesota Vikings feature one of the most potent passing offenses in the league. Kirk Cousins was acquired in free agency and immediately established chemistry with Minnesota’s star receiving tandem of Thielen and Diggs. Cousins is on pace for his first 5,000 yard season, and the Vikings have the look of a super-bowl or bust team.
Talent-wise, the Vikings are a better team. If the Jets are going to win this week, they can’t be settling for field goals in the red-zone. Jason Myers is fresh off going 7-7 last week against the Colts, and four of those kicks came in the red zone. The Jets convert a league-worst 30% of red-zone trips. Against this Vikings defense, the Jets cannot afford to miss those opportunities. Terrelle Pryor has two red zone touchdowns this year, but he is listed as doubtful. More usage from 6’4” Chris Herndon or 6’6” Jordan Leggett in the red zone could be beneficial: combined they have three catches on three targets in the red-zone, and Jordan Leggett had a two-yard touchdown against the Jaguars.
The Jets aren’t going to be able to rely on familiar faces to get by this week. They should be competitive anyway, even though the match-up is with an out of conference powerhouse. Next man up.
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