One of the great things about working at The Landry Hat, and the Fansided Sports Network, is our access to different experts. Since our network has a site for every NFL team, I’d thought I’d get an insider’s take on the upcoming Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets match-up…from the other side.
Therefore, I present ten questions with the Editor/Lead Writer of The Jet Press FanSided Blog, Marc A. Greenberg:
1. TLH – It will no doubt be an emotional game Sunday Night. With all the pre-game and halftime memorials planned, how do you think it will affect the Jets on-field play, if at all? Will it be a distraction at all?
MG – I don’t see the memorials being a distraction at all. I think the Jets, if anything, will be so motivated for New York, that their energy will be amped up a little. As sad and emotional as 9/11 was, I feel the people of New York, myself included, will find something, anything to rally around. For Jets fans Sunday night, the crowd will certainly be electric and the noise level will be unprecedented.
2. TLH – Has Quarterback Mark Sanchez shaken off the inconstancy he’s shown in the past?
MG – We will see about #6. You look at his first two years, all the INTs, the missed passes, and you really can’t escape the fact that he has 4 road playoff victories. His confidence is like nothing I have ever seen. Above all, his chemistry with Santonio Holmes is coming together perfectly. Look for lots of slants to Santonio.
3. TLH – Is Plaxico Burress back to his old self? Is he in “game shape”?
MG – Plaxico is probably not at “game shape” but he should be exactly what the Jets need him for; red zone offense. The team was terrible last season in the red zone and bringing in Plax has to improve that. The departure of Jerricho Cotchery will affect this team, and Burress and Derrick Mason need to be in shape from Week 1.
4. TLH – No one questions the Jet’s defense scheme. Will their offense be better this year?
MG – The offense this season will revolve around Shonn Greene. A good running game is so important to the Jets passing game because off. coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has built the offense around the play-action pass. A good running game will mean high yardage for Holmes, Mason and Dustin Keller. A heathy Greene is the key.
5. TLH – How much of a concern is your lack of depth on the Offensive line?
MG – The offensive line, if healthy, won’t be a concern. D’Brick, Mangold, Slauson, Moore and Hunter are a solid 5 and should provide the coverage needed for Sanchez and Greene. Now, if one goes down, and Ducasse needs to come in, watch out.
6. TLH – With the loss of Shaun Ellis and Jason Taylor, is Jets defensive line their defenses Achilles’ heel?
MG – The defensive line has been an issue for the past 15 years. Not since Mark Gastineau have the Jets had a pure pass rusher. Shaun Ellis was not the answer this season as his age is a concern. While Ryan’s defensive scheme allows a defense to survive (and excel) without a pure rusher, it would be nice to have someone. As to the middle, without Kris Jenkins, the Jets are placing a lot of stock on Mike DeVito and Sione Pouha. To me, this is the Jets biggest weakness this season. I can see the Jets getting abused by a team that can run the ball with success. Thankfully there is a very strong back 7 behind the line.
7. TLH – How badly does Rex Ryan want to beat his brother? How real is that rivalry and how much of it is made up?
MG – I think that, while the rivalry is the same as any brother has against his brother, Rex wants to win, and it really doesn’t matter who is on the other side. He knows he can have some fun with his brother so the comments may be a little more colorful. It’s all in good fun before the game.
8. TLH – Is Shonne Green finally ready to live up to the hype?
MG – Jets fans really hope so. I see Greene as the key to the season. When healthy, he’s a top running back. His running style just beats up opposing teams. With the decline of LaDainian Tomlinson, the Jets are really depending on Greene. Sanchez will be fine; the defense will be fine; Folk will be fine; it’s all about Greene. If he runs with success, the Jets are going back to the playoffs.
9. TLH – How do you think the Jets will fare against all of the offensive weapons the Cowboys have?
MG – The Jets match up nicely against teams with good passing games. Whoever is the Cowboys number 1 WR on Sunday will basically end up with 2 catches for 12 yards while on Revis island all game. That will leave the #2 WR on Antonio Cromartie. That will be the group to watch Sunday.
10. TLH – Your prediction for the game?
MG – I see the Jets coming out strong on Sunday. This is a team that has gone to back to back AFC Championship games. Throw in a shortened preseason and I think the Cowboys haven’t learned the new defensive scheme from Rob Ryan yet. Defense wins in these early season situations and with a home game, I see the Jets taking this one.
Prediction: Jets 16 – Cowboys 12