This is where it starts. In week 5 of the New York Jets 2013 season, Gang Green will enter the dreaded “F.S.P.B.S.” five-game stretch. If my previous predictions are correct, a 2-2 record going in will translate to a 2-7 record coming out. If my postulating holds true, then Mark Sanchez will be quarterback going out and Geno Smith, in.
But as a true and loyal Jets fan, it is my duty to detail every last game. It won’t be pretty, and there will be more death than an episode of “Game of Thrones” (not literally, of course), but by God I am going to do it. So without further ado, let’s dive into the Monday Night game against the “Dirty Birds,” the Atlanta Falcons.
Offensive Factor: Steven Jackson. As my colleague Daniel Chi recently wrote,the Falcons were 29th in rushing last year, forcing them to take to the skies with their elite receiving corps (*cough* Idzik draft some *cough*). The Jets are one of the few teams who have a secondary able to match the Falcons receivers. But as I never fail to remind my fellow fans, the safety position for the Jets is weak, and some linebackers may need to be played reservedly to cover up the middle. If Jackson can revive Atlanta’s run game, that will cause big issues in the middle of the field. Don’t run, Steven, don’t run!
Defensive Factor: Muhammad Wilkerson. All Forrest Gump references aside, the true piece to the Atlanta offense is quarterback Matt Ryan. And how do you disrupt a quarterback? You sack him. You sack him until the cows come home (an expression I never quite understood). And who better to do so than Wilkerson, who in his first two years has been on the steady incline. From the 2011-2012 seasons, his sacks went from three to five, his assists went from 14 to 33 and his forced fumbles went from one to three. In other words, Wilkerson has been slowly but surely increased his knowledge of the defense and is doing more with his position on the field. Many analysts predict that this will be his break-out season, and I am inclined to agree. If anyone can take down the birds, it will be him.
X-Factor: Mark Sanchez. If Sanchez is still under center by this game (which I predict he will be until week 7), then it will be his responsibility to not screw up. An unreasonable request, I know, but if he can get away without a butt-fumble or interception, then maybe, MAYBE, the Jets stand a chance. Just like Sanchez’s play, however, this chance will probably be squandered.
Quarterback Watch: As mentioned before, Sanchez will still be under center, but this will be the last full game he will play. The boos will start to ring loud, and by week 7, Geno Smith should be the starting quarterback. Praise whoever you believe in Jets fans, for that exalted day will come.
Final Score: Falcons – 31, Jets – 13
Jets Record: 2-3
Jeremy is a Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him/her on Twitter JeremyGoldstei1, “Like” him/her on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.