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Week Two: Jets Keys to Victory

Sunday’s Storyline:

Fresh off their improbable comeback win over Dallas, the Jets return to the friendly confines of Metlife Stadium and tangle with the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at 1pm. New York, aided by a miraculous punt block from Joe McKnight along with a few blunders by Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo, emerged victorious on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Gang Green will try to avoid a let-down this week against a Jaguars squad that dealt New York a crushing 24-22 defeat in Week nine of the 2009 regular season. In the final minutes of that contest, Jaguars tailback Mauric
e Jones-Drew escaped for a nine yard scamper and with the goal line in-sight and the Jets out of timeouts, he alertly dove down at the one inch line. The Jaguars would milk the clock and with three seconds remaining Josh Scobee knocked through a 21 yard game winning field goal, much to the dismay of the Jets faithful.

With that bitter loss fresh in the minds of fans and players, the Jets aim to exorcize the demons from that gut wrenching loss just two seasons ago and delight fans on Sunday in what is expected to be a capacity Meadowlands crowd.

Keys to Victory:

1. Stop Jacksonville’s Mo-Jo
The secret is out. At five foot seven inches tall and 208 pounds, Maurice Jones-Drew is a human wrecking ball at the running back position and a holy terror for opposing defenses. The man they refer to as “Mo-Jo” is powerful and elusive, artful at hiding behind his mammoth lineman then hitting a crease and finding the open field. Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is mindful of Jones-Drew’s game-breaking ability and won’t be shy in packing the box with eight or nine defenders to smother the Jaguars diminutive, but dynamic back.

2. Turn McCown Upside Down.
An eighth year journeyman out of Louisiana Tech University, quarterback Luke McCown was thrust into a starting role when Jacksonville unexpectedly released their franchise signal caller David Garrard prior to week one. With more career interceptions (10), than touchdowns (9), McCown will likely be on the business end of the Jets blitzing schemes. If New York can dial up the pressure early they can disrupt McCown’s timing and create scoring opportunities for their defense and build a sizeable first half lead.

3. Early in the End zone
The Jets have failed to score a first quarter touchdown in their last 16 games. If my calculations are correct that’s an entire season without an opening period end zone celebration. For one, it’s miraculous that the Jets have a winning record over that span, but more importantly Jets fans are growing tired of waiting until the second half for Gang Green’s offensive attack to ignite. The Jets will need to feed their two headed monster of LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, establishing the run and stretching the field with play action passes. If New York can find the right mix of run and pass offense early, it could be a long day for the Jaguars.

Prediction: Jets 31- Jaguars 13 F.
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