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Pregame: Jets at Lions

Last week’s game left Jet fans more disgruntled than Randy Moss on the Vikings' buffet line.

It’s been nearly three weeks since the Jets last scored a point, the unfortunate result of following a bye week with a dismal offensive performance against the Packers. But the beautiful thing about the National Football League is that last week’s shutout, the Jets first since 2006, becomes a distant memory once the Jets kick off at 1 p.m. today as they look to regain their pre-bye week form.

The scheduling gods reward the Jets with a gift-wrapped game against the Lions. However, the matchup, although favorable, is not as easy as it may have been in recent years.

The Lions, who have won two of their last three games, are slowly beginning to put the pieces together as they continue down the long and winding road back to respectability. The Jets offensive line, namely Brandon Moore, will get an up close and personal look at one of those building blocks in 6-4, 307 pound defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the second overall pick in last year’s draft.

After recording two sacks against the Redskins, granted they came at the expense of an allegedly unconditioned Donovan McNabb, Suh now has 6 ½ sacks this season to lead a Lion team that has combined for 23 total sacks, just three less than they had all of last season.

Mark Sanchez, who tossed two interceptions in each of his last two games after going the first five games without one, will certainly be flushed out of the pocket. What he decides to do with the ball, however, will be interesting to see.

Sanchez’s counterpart, Mathew Stafford, returned last week after missing five games and completed 26-of-45 passes for 212 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Today marks a battle between the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2009 draft, where Stafford went first and Sanchez fifth.

The Lions may put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but struggle when it comes to stopping the run. Detroit allows 130.4 rushing yards per game, sixth most in the league, which bodes well for the ongoing rebirth of LaDainian Tomlinson. Or maybe this will be the week that Shonn Greene fantasy owners will finally be rewarded.

It’s days like today that the Jets secondary must be thankful that the Darrelle Revis holdout ended amicably. A healthy Revis will make their jobs much easier when it comes to containing Calvin Johnson, one of the top wideouts in the league who is 10th in the league in receiving yards with 538 and tied for second in touchdowns with eight.

The Keys:

1) Win the turnover battle – Sanchez must protect the ball the way he did in his first five games.

2) Mix it up – Tomlinson and Greene must take advantage of a weak run defense but the Jets also need to begin getting Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes more involved by taking some shots downfield.

3) Let Weatherford stick to punting -- The Jets must remove all fake punt plays from the playbook.

The Prediction:
Jets 34, Detroit 13

Opening kick is just minutes away….
 

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