Finally, we have arrived to the last of the dreaded “F.S.P.B.S.” stretch of the season for the New York Jets. In Week 9, Gang Green will need only to face the New Orleans Saints before reaching their bye week and licking their wounds — one more loss until New York can start, well, losing again.
But those predictions are for another day. For right now, let’s just focus on the game at hand and boy, will it be good one.
New Orleans is coming off a disappointing season without their leader and head coach, Sean Payton. But do not be fooled. This team will have a huge bounce-back year and be in contention for winning their division. At this point of the season, the Jets are going to be fighting quite literally for their jobs. A loss in Week 9 would put them at 3-6 by my estimation and a long shot into the playoffs.
That said, let’s take a look at the factors.
Offensive factor: Chris Ivory
Ironically, I believe the Jets will implement a similar strategy to their backfield that the Saints have for the past few seasons that is the “three-headed monster”. Just as the Saints utilize Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and others, so too will the Jets utilize Joe Mcknight, Billal Powell and Ivory. The Jets trio might not have a play-maker likes Sproles, but they can be effective with their different styles of play.
The onus will fall on Ivory to take vengeance on his former team, knowing how to effectively counter the Saints’ porous defense. Though he has never been an explosive player, he could helm the running game in Week 9 and cause problems for New Orleans.
Defensive factor: Rob Ryan
As my colleague Jack Cavanaugh recently wrote, the Saints’ defense has some serious holes to address from last season. Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense is not necessarily bad per se, but it is misaligned with the Saints’ personnel. Players like Will Smith will have to adjust to a style of play they haven’t utilized before, and the secondary is not exactly filled with household names.
Gone are the days of Darren Sharper, “hardest hittin’ safety in da’ league.”
Will Rob Ryan be able to take this atrocious defense and at least make it average? We will all know by Week 9 and so will the Jets, who will attempt to make it a close game.
X-Factor: Sean Payton
As I said before, Payton will be back this season with a chip on his shoulder, and will see the Jets as a team to make an example of in order to claim his own team’s dominance. To this end, he will most likely run up the points much like the New England Patriots do against Gang Green. It will be Payton’s offensive genius against Rex Ryan‘s defensive stylings.
I expect this game to be closer and higher scoring (thanks to the Saints defense) than people would expect. In fact, it could even be winnable for the Jets. But alas, the game will end with a nice drive by Drew Brees to put it away.
Score: Saints – 35 Jets – 28
Coming up: See my expectations for Jets players’ stats during their bye week!
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.