Jets Will Be a Good Measuring Stick

Are the Jaguars a playoff team? That won't be determined this week or the next but we'll have a good opportunity to find out exactly how good they are on Sunday against a Jets team that went to the AFC title game for the last two seasons.

Jack Del Rio and Rex Ryan won a Super Bowl ring together as assistant coaches on the 2000 Ravens team.

Both are defensive coaches and it is not surprising that both teams like to run the ball and play defense.

"I think the two teams are built very similar. Last time, they got the better of us and so obviously we looked at this so it's going to be a huge challenge for us," Ryan said.

The Jets go into the game as 10-point favorites. They've made the AFC title game the last two years while the Jaguars didn't make the playoffs in either season.

The Jaguars have also gone 9-12 in their last 21 games and only one of those victories -- they split last year with Indianapolis -- came over a team with a winning record.

But the Jets did lose at home to the Jaguars in their last meeting in 2009 by a 24-22 margin and they both like to pound the ball.

Even though it is a passing league, Ryan said, "I still think it's (running) a formula for success. It's one that we use. We call it a ground-and-pound mentality and when the weather's bad you can still run the football.

"So I still think it is a formula for success but with us, you have to do what's best for your players; and in our situation, now we have some pretty good weapons on the outside," he added. "Our quarterback's entering his third year so we feel a little better about throwing the football as well."

Sanchez did not have a good day against the Jaguars as he was intercepted twice while throwing for one touchdown pass and posting a 59.3 quarterback rating.

The Jaguars also will have a different quarterback this time because they cut David Garrard last Tuesday and Luke McCown will be under center.

Garrard played well two years ago against the Jets, directing an 11-play, 70-yard drive in the first half and then moving Jacksonville from its 17 with 4:58 remaining and leading the Jaguars on a drive that ended with Josh Scobee's 21-yard field goal as time expired. Maurice Jones-Drew could have scored earlier but went down on the 1-yard-line to keep the clock running.

Garrard outplayed Sanchez as he had a 101.6 quarterback rating with one touchdown and no interceptions while throwing for 221 yards.

In McCown's first start with the Jaguars against the Titans last week, they used a conservative game plan and ran the ball 47 times while throwing just 24 times.

Against the Jets, the Jaguars will likely have to throw more and that means testing their talented cornerback duo of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.

The question for McCown is whether he can play as well against the Jets as Garrard did two years ago.

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