Kevin Kolb is likely to be sidelined again this week, which means rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley will get another start for the Cardinals.
While Arizona has to feel that this year has slipped away from them, Rex Ryan is determined that his Jets will finish strong enough to slip into the playoffs.
At 4-7 they’ll need to run the table, starting this week at home.
All five remaining games are against teams with a losing record so they may just pull it off, if they can hang on to the ball.
Too bad fireman Ed won’t be there to cheer them on.
Then again, I guess a fan can only take so much. With both offenses looking like a comedy of errors lately, the winner of this game will come down to whose defense can generate the most turnovers.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty for fantasy owners to watch. Here are some predictions:
We know Mark Sanchez can throw the ball - he managed 301 yards and a touchdown last week. Problem is his mistakes have sunk many a drive this year, along with the hopes of Jets fans everywhere. He has had a hard time finding reliable receivers and has almost as many interceptions as he does touchdowns this year.
Arizona's fourth-ranking pass defense won’t make things easy for Sanchez.
Not that he should be on your team anyway, but this won’t be the week to trust him. 200 yards, one touchdown and one interception would be a good day for him.
Like the Jets, Arizona hasn’t been able to get much from their quarterbacks lately. As talented as rookie Ryan Lindley might be, he made rookie mistakes last week and did nothing to improve anyone’s confidence in the Cardinals' passing game.
Despite having played most of the year without Darelle Revis, the Jets’ pass defense is still ranked seventh in the league which will make for another long day for Lindley. Even with Beanie Wells’ return giving him some relief, anything better than 215 yards and two interceptions would be a surprise.
Shonn Greene has been losing touches at the goal line to Bilal Powell lately, a trend that, if it continues, will lower Greene’s already marginal fantasy appeal.
Greene’s most redeeming quality has been that he sees the bulk of the carries each week, take that away from him and you have a flex player at best with 75 yards and no touchdowns this week.
On the other hand, Powell’s value is on the rise after he saw just one less carry than Greene last week. Expect about 65 yards and a touchdown for Powell.
Arizona coach, Ken Whisenhunt, showed last week that he has no problem letting Beanie Wells carry the load again for the Cardinals now that he is back from injury.
After seeing the Jets get gouged for 152 yards and two touchdowns last week, owners will be clamoring to get him in their lineups if they can. 85 yards and a touchdown sounds about right.
With a tough matchup this week, it’s hard to recommend any of the Jets’ wide receivers though Jeremy Kerley has shown himself to be the most reliable.
He’ll be a bit of a desperation start but, if you need to play him, you could reasonably expect about 60 yards and possibly a touchdown (as long as Sanchez is having a good day).
If you weren’t one of the fantasy managers who had the foresight to trade Larry Fitzgerald when you had the chance, you probably are wondering if you should bench him this week.
The short answer is yes, if you have a better option (which shouldn't be hard to find). Fitzgerald has struggled all year, catching only 55 of the 113 balls thrown his way, and even his teammate, Andre Roberts, has more yards so far.
No one will blame you if you start him anyway but with Antonio Cromartie doing a good job of shutting down opposing No. 1 receivers, hoping for a major turnaround on Sunday is a gamble that you probably don’t want to take if you desperately need a win this week. 55 yards might the best you can hope for.
Dustin Keller had a solid game last week against the Patriots with 64 yards and a score but his inconsistency makes him a risky play against an Arizona defense that has been stout against tight ends.
While Lance Kendricks did find the end zone against the Cardinals last week, it was off of a well-executed play-action pass by Sam Bradford.
Unless the Jets’ ground game shows some life, Sanchez will unlikely be able to repeat that feat. Keller should end up with about 60 yards just because Sanchez likes to look his way.
It turns out that like many rookie quarterbacks, Lindley likes to throw to his tight end. After failing to record a catch in Atlanta, Rob Housler bounced back with 82 yards on 8 catches last week against the Rams.
With little improvement expected to come from his offensive line, Lindley may be forced to use his tight end on short passes just to avoid the Jets’ pass rush. And 65 yards certainly doesn’t sound out of the question this week for Housler.
Defense and Special Teams
This will be a great week to start the Jets’ defensive unit. Jeremy Kerley and Joe McKnight are always a threat to score on returns and the Cardinals have given up a league-leading 46 sacks so far this year.
Throw in Lindley’s growing pains and the Jets’ defense and special teams should finish with at least three sacks, two interceptions, and a touchdown this week.
As dangerous as Patrick Peterson is with returns and interceptions, the Cardinals’ defense might find themselves wearing down if the offense fails to move the ball again.
With all of the Jets' ball-security issues, though, the Cardinals should still be a good start this week.