Vikings-Jets game plan

Randy Moss' arrival might come just at the right time, with the Jets possessing a better run defense than pass defense. Still, there is some thought that stopping Peterson is the best route to stopping the Vikings. Plus, get four Monday night matchups to watch.


Randy Moss' arrival might be coming at the perfect time. The Jets defense is ranked fourth against the run and 22nd against the pass. Without Moss on the field, the Jets could have sold out to stop the Vikings' running game, but now if they put too heavy an emphasis on Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson it could cost them.

Quarterback Brett Favre also will have Percy Harvin back in the slot instead of trying to play outside, meaning the second-year player should be more at home.

The Jets will attempt to put as much pressure as possible on Favre, who will turned 41 Sunday, but if he can find Moss on a regular basis the hits might hurt a little less.

New York, with veteran RB LaDainian Tomlinson, has the second-ranked rushing attack in the NFL, but the Vikings' run defense is one of the league's best. The Jets passing attack is ranked 25th in the league, but the return of Santonio Holmes from suspension is going to give quarterback Mark Sanchez another weapon.


The Jets' run defense will face its biggest test so far this season in Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, who is averaging 5.6 yards per carry. If the Jets can stop or at least slow him down a little, they will be able to blitz Favre with impunity.

The Jets know from first-hand experience that Favre would rather check down and dump the ball off than stand in the pocket and take a lot of hits. The offense was clicking without Holmes, so it will be interesting to see how much his presence helps. Certainly Mark Sanchez won't forget about TE Dustin Keller, who has five touchdown receptions in the last three games.


Vikings CB Cedric Griffin, who returned from an ACL injury in Week 3, vs. Jets WRs Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. Holmes is returning from a suspension and Edwards, who has had his off-the-field problems this season, leads Jets wide receivers with 12 receptions for 227 yards and three touchdowns. Both figure to be an interesting test for Griffin, who played well against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 26 and did not miss a snap. It would be expected that Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will go at Griffin a few times just to test him. Sanchez also could try to test Lito Sheppard and Asher Allen, which plays more in the nickel role.

Vikings RT Phil Loadholt, who has struggled at times this season in pass protection, vs. Jets DLE Shaun Ellis, who leads the Jets with three sacks. Loadholt appears to be a bit shaky early in the season and the Jets pass rush will try to take advantage of any weakness it can find. Ellis figures to provide pressure from the left side but the 3-4 defense means the pursuit of Favre also could come from linebackers Bryan Thomas or Bart Scott to name two. Loadholt will have his hands full and it wouldn't be surprising if the Vikings try to get him some chip help from a tight end or running back.

Jets LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson vs. Vikings DRE Jared Allen. Allen has been limited to only one sack through Minnesota's first three games, but he still is one of the best and most consistent pass rushers in the NFL. Ferguson, coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2009, is playing to a very high standard, and has the footwork and technique to hold off Allen. The Jets haven't allowed a sack in their last two games.

Jets LB David Harris vs. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson. While talk of Favre, Moss and CB Darrelle Revis will garner the headlines, Peterson still is the man who makes the Vikings' offense go. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry through three games and already has an 80-yard touchdown run. Harris is the Jets' surest tackler and a savvy player, and has the ability not only to stand his ground inside, but to tackle people in space.

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