Keys to the Game: The New York Jets Will Have to Find a Way to Slow Down J.J. Watt

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J.J. Watt Houston Texans vs New York Jets


I’ve outlined what the New York Jets need to do on the defensive side of the ball to keep the Houston Texans offense in check when the two teams match up on Monday night.

First and foremost they need to stop the Texans’ potent rushing attack, and they’ll need cornerback Antonio Cromartie to bring his A game when he’s matched up with superstar wideout Andre Johnson.

Of course, none of that will really matter if the Jets score as many points as they did last week. Which, if you recall, was just as many as you or I scored.

It’s not exactly a secret around the NFL that Mark Sanchez has struggled mightily over the last few weeks, and his banged up receiving corps is now as bad as it’s ever been.

With Santonio Holmes out for the season, and rookie receiver Stephen Hill and starting tight end Dustin Keller both doubtful for Monday’s game, Sanchez will have a tough time finding someone to throw to again this week.

Jeremy Kerley, who was supposed to be the Jets’ third receiver, is now the top available target. Veteran Jason Hill, just signed this week, will probably see time alongside Chaz Schilens on the outside.

Regardless of the personnel on the field, nobody is going to feel sorry for the Jets. Defenders will smell blood, and they will try to attack that weakness week in and week out.

Enter Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Month is the early frontrunner for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and that means trouble for Sanchez and company.

Watt has been as dominant as anybody in the game, and while he’s far from the only elite defender the Jets will have to deal with, he’s the most likely to cause absolute chaos in the Jets’ offensive backfield.

Right tackle Austin Howard has struggled this season, and he’s going to need a ton of help against Watt. Otherwise it won’t matter who’s taking the snap, because Watt will pile-drive whoever’s back there.

How do the Jets slow down Watt without compromising another spot on the field? It’s a heck of a lot easier said than done.

But if the Jets want to steal a game from one of the NFL’s best teams, they might need a little bit of luck.

And maybe some pass protection.


Related Articles:

Jets vs. Texans: NFL Week 5 Preview

New York Jets Superstar CB Darrelle Revis Out for the Season with a Torn ACL

New York Jets Trying to Do Damage Control After Losing Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes for the Year

Keys to the Game: The New York Jets Must Stop the Houston Texans Rushing Attack

Keys to the Game: Antonio Cromartie Will Have to Do His Best Darrelle Revis Impersonation

Jon Presser is’s New York Jets Lead Columnist 
Follow him on Twitter @metsjetsnets88
Contact him at


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