The New York Jets have been abysmal every other game this season, and even worse, the Jets have been abysmal on the road, too, being outscored 165-76 — not good news for a team that is clinging on to playoff hopes and has to play at M&T Bank Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday. It’s crazy that that is even the case, being that just 13 weeks ago, the team was ranked last in the NFL. But here they are, only a couple of games behind the New England Patriots in the division, and holding onto the last wildcard spot for the playoffs … for now.
The Jets are still in control of their own destiny, but, as mentioned above, the team hasn’t exactly played inspiring football on the road. This game has huge playoff implications for both teams, so look for a tough, gritty, low-scoring football game that will feature hard hits.
Will the Jets continue their win-one, lose-one streak? If they do, then Sunday’s odds are looking pretty good. Of course it won’t be easy going into the Baltimore and getting the W. But, let’s take a look at what the Jets can do to get a win on the road.
Slow down Torrey Smith
The Jets’ secondary has been horrendous. With Darrelle Revis gone, and rookie cornerback Dee Milliner not doing a good job filling in — it doesn’t help that Antonio Cromartie’s level of play has seen a huge drop — the Jets have been one of the worst teams in the league to give up plays of 30 yards or more through the air. This Sunday’s matchup with be a tough one.
The Ravens have a big-arm quarterback in Joe Flacco, and they have a speedy receiver in Torrey Smith, so the Jets have to find a way to slow this pass-game down. Cromartie will most likely be covering Smith, so Cromartie has to get physical with the receiver, jam him on the line and disrupt his routes. They should also play more of the cover two defense; it worked against the explosive New Orleans Saints, who have more weapons, so it can work against the Ravens.
Use the tight ends
Let’s be serious, the way he’s been playing, especially on the road, Geno Smith isn’t going to have much success throwing to receivers on the outside. The rookie quarterback needs to start looking at his tight ends more.
Against the Bills, Kellen Winslow and Jeff Cumberland were not utilized often and that hurt the team. Against the Ravens safeties, who have trouble in coverage, the Jets can find a lot of success if they pass to either one of their tight ends; Smith can use them as a security blanket and get the chains moving.
Establish the run game
In the win against the Saints, the Jets played smart and conservative football. They played tough D against one of the most explosives offenses in the league, and they wore out the Saints’ defense with an aggressive run game. If the Jets can successfully run the ball, they can grind down the clock, wear out the Ravens defense and, more importantly, limit Geno Smith’s chances of turning the ball over — increasing their chances of winning.