Florham Park, N.J. - The Jets come into Week Ten sitting at 3-6. Fans were hoping for a much better record going into the bye next week. This Sunday they take on the 3-5 Los Angeles Rams. The idea of taking the conference went out the window with the New England Patriots sitting at the top at 7-1 while their loss to the Miami Dolphins last week didn't help. The last time these two teams met was 2012 with the Jets winning 27-13 in St. Louis.
The Jets desperately need a win against the Rams if they want any chance of making the playoffs. Here's what to watch for during the game:
WHEN: Sunday, November 13, 2016 1 p.m. EST
WHERE: MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Whether it's Ryan Fitzpatrick or Bryce Petty, the Jets quarterback needs to play at the top of his game. If a team has a quarterback that is struggling, that team is not going to succeed. Fitzpatrick has thrown 13 interceptions this season. If that stat isn't bad enough, 12 of those interceptions have been in the 2nd half/OT. Five of those 13 interceptions have also been in the red zone. Yikes. A team is definitely not going to have success if their quarterback is throwing interceptions in a place where they need to score. The Jets were one of the top teams in the red zone last year. This year, they rank 31st in the NFL. Fitzpatrick is a game-time decision due to a knee injury, so Petty might be called upon. Petty got his first taste of the NFL last game when Fitzpatrick got injured. Petty went 2-of-2 for 19 yards and was then pulled when Fitzpatrick came back in. During his time at Baylor, he threw for 8,195 yards and 62 touchdowns. Petty has the capability to have a huge game if given the chance.
Stop The Run
This is a tricky situation. If playing his best, the Rams have one of the best running backs in the NFL in Todd Gurley. However, Gurley has struggled greatly this season, averaging 56.4 yards per game. He's also only crossed the goal line three times this season. The Rams as a whole rank 29th in the league in rushing, averaging 77.3 yards per game. The only reason why it's important is that Gurley has to be hungry for a big game. In his first four games last year, Gurley rushed for 566 yards. That's 141.5 yards per game. If he's able to get going, Gurley could have a monster game and really hurt the Jets. It also doesn't help that Muhammad Wilkerson and Darron Lee have been dealing with injuries. But the Jets rank 4th in the NFL, holding opponents to 81 yards per contest.
With Case Keenum struggling this season, throwing 11 interceptions, the secondary should have a field day. The Jets secondary have been starting to get into a groove, holding Ryan Tannehill to 149 yards and a touchdown last game. After being dead last in the NFL in defending the pass, the Jets improved to 22nd in the league allowing opponents to 272.2 yards through the air per game. In the two wins before last weeks loss, the secondary had four interceptions. In the six games before the Jets winning streak, they have only been able to get two.
Get The Run Going
The run could be key for the Jets with questions at the quarterback position. Struggling between Weeks 2-6, Matt Forte has turned his game around in the last three weeks. He's rushed for 274 yards and four touchdowns in those three games. When the Jets put the ball on the ground 30 or more times this season, they are 3-1. The only issue with getting the run going is getting past the Rams tough front. The Rams are 11th in the NFL, holding opponents to just 98.6 yards per game. With the Jets being home, the offensive line has the home crowd behind them in creating holes for Forte.
X-Factor: Brandon Marshall
Marshall really needs to step up this week if the Jets want to win. He hasn't broken 100 yards since Week Five, which was the last time he found the end zone. Marshall was a major key to the Jets red zone success, but has been awfully quiet there. Marshall was held to five catches and 46 yards last week against the Dolphins. If he's able to get going, then the Jets should have no problems running through the Rams.
Prediction: Jets 21-10
This is going to be another low scoring affair early on, but at one point the Jets will break away and never look back. I feel like I'm beating a dead horse saying this, but it has to be said: this is a MUST WIN game if the Jets want any chance of making the playoffs. The Rams are a weak team and this is the perfect game to get them going.null