Desperation is setting for a collection of teams that are battling for the AFC’s second Wild Card spot. Among those in contention is Rex Ryan’s New York Jets. This franchise has been under intense scrutiny for the way they are run. A perceived horrid offense held down efforts of their very capable defensive front. For the second time in five seasons, they are trying to break in a rookie quarterback while battling for postseason contention.
On one hand, Geno Smith is an exciting talent. On the other, his decision-making remains in question. New York’s surrounding talent fails to show up consistently, which puts more pressure on him to perform. With a Week 14 victory, Gang Green remained alive in the playoff conversation. Whether they deserve such consideration is up for debate, but here they are. Next Sunday brings them a difficult opponent.
Quarterback Cam Newton and his upstart Carolina Panthers suffered defeat on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, losing ground in their NFC South quest. Now, they are undoubtedly upset. Newton is having a great third season through the air and of course on the ground as well.
Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson anchors Gang Green’s defensive line during their tough task to defend Newton. Defending Carolina’s running attack of D’Angelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert also will be tough. Star linebacker Luke Kuechly will help in run support against Chris Ivory.
Smith will also face a pass rush from Carolina’s defensive front. Veteran wideout Steve Smith will likely matchup with corner Antonio Cromartie. The Jets pretty much have to win out in order to stay alive, and this game brings great difficulty.