Injury Riddled Jets Need Young Guns To Step Up
Added by Justin O'Connell on October 26, 2012.
Stephen Hill (#84) could play a key role on Sunday if the Dolphins key on Jeremy Kerley and Dustin Keller.
Entering Sunday’s game with the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets are one of the most injury riddled teams in the NFL. According to Rex Ryan the Dolphins are currently the NFL’s “healthiest” team.
It looks like Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who has made 119 consecutive starts, may miss the game and if not he will be very limited; last week he only played nine snaps. Kendrick Ellis and Bilial Powell will not play again this week, while Jeff Cumberland, Joe McKnight, and Eric Smith are all limited by injuries.
“I think the injuries are a big part of it, but again, there is no excuse. We feel good about our football team and we felt good going into the year about the depth that we had. That’s being tested, but again, these things happen and they probably happen to most teams. Obviously, not to this extent, but every team will go through something injury-wise. This league is the only one with a 100 percent injury rate. You’re going to get hurt at some point, but that’s why I say there are mighty men that play this game. You have to deal with them. The healthiest team I think I’ve ever seen, right now, is Miami. You look at them and (think), ‘Man, okay.’ And that’s good. We’re just having to deal with them right now,” said Ryan.
The Jets will be getting some players back this weekend. It looks like Clyde Gates and Sione Pouha will return. Ryan said “it looks that way” about Gates playing and also said that Pouha has looked “great” in practice. The Jets defensive line will need all the help they can get as they will be playing against a motivated Reggie Bush, who is looking for revenge.
The Dolphins, who will not be missing any starters, have been on a hot streak since losing to the Jets in Week 3 and now have a 3-3 record. They are coming off a bye week and have had two weeks to prepare for the Jets and any schemes they may run. According to ESPN stats, since Week 3, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill has had the third best QBR and the Dolphins have had the best run defense in the AFC. The Dolphins pass rush has also stepped it up and has had 14 sacks since Week 3.
This is a “need to win game” for the Jets according to Rex Ryan. “I think so. I think when you look at it, absolutely. That’s what we’re saying. That’s our mission this week, (to get to) 4-4. Obviously, we have a tough opponent who’s on a roll. These guys are coming in. They’re healthy. They’re fresh. They’re coming off two wins and they’re feeling good about themselves. They have a lot of talent. We know how difficult it’s going to be. (We have) never swept this team, but I also think that builds into maybe momentum for us even. We know who we’re playing. This is a good football team. The fact that we’ve never beat them twice, that kind of gives us energy. The fact that we can go 3-1 in our division with two wins over Miami, that would be huge so we see it as a real possibility. Playing in front of our crowd always gets you amped up a little bit higher. We have the bye afterwards, so we’re trying to do whatever we can. Like I said before, we’re emptying our tank and then we’ll load it back up in the bye week.”
The Jets will be relying on their young players, who have stepped it up and made plays thus far this season, especially Jeremy Kerley. The Dolphins will be looking to lock up Kerley and Dustin Keller, so look for Stephen Hill to get a lot of targets. Hill, who had a key drop last week, will have opportunities to redeem himself this week.
Mark Sanchez has an exuberant amount of faith in his young receivers and believes, “We’re an improving bunch. I still think we have some of our best football ahead of us, we just have to get it to happen on Sunday and really build off of last week.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Jets young line, led by Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson, will have to get some pressure on the QB. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Tannehill actually fares 25.9 Total QBR points (0-100 scale) worse against a standard pass rush than compared to extra pressure.
Demarrio Davis and Isaiah Trufant have been getting more playing time and have played well, especially Trufant who shut down Wes Welker last week. The Jets young guns will have to step it up if they wish to win this game and go into the bye week on a high note.