Neither the Jets nor the Rams have been impressive of late. It’s been over a month since either team has earned a win. On paper, both teams leave a lot to be desired but there are few factors that will sway the odds in the Rams’ favor when New York travels to St. Louis. Here are my three bold predictions for the game.
1. The Jets’ will help St. Louis get an easy win.
On the stat page, these teams are not very far apart. Neither has a distinct advantage in total offense, total defense, penalties, or turnover ratio. Distractions, momentum, and team chemistry will be the difference. Count on the Jet’s shooting themselves in the foot in one way or another. Sunday will be a perfect example of how heavily things you can’t read on the stat page can impact a game.
While a tie isn’t exactly an impressive feat, when you consider the Rams got it on the road against San Francisco, it’s at least something to build on. The Jets on the other hand, have nothing but distractions and internal issues to deal with right now.
With Rex Ryan and Tim Tebow in town, distractions are expected in New York but it’s especially bad this week. For the second time in as many seasons, the Jets are anonymously taking shots at each other. Last time it was aimed at Sanchez and this time at Tebow.
On top of that, the horrendous play of Sanchez is causing a quarterback controversy. Although Ryan has made it clear Sanchez is their starter, Shonn Greene doesn’t sound too confident in him. Greene told Yahoo! Sports this week that he believes “something’s got to change”, adding "You feel bad for Mark, but at the same time, you want to win games. We're not here to protect people's feelings. If you want to win games, you've got to try something. If somebody's not getting the job done, you see if somebody else can do it. It's the same with coaching, or any position. You don't mean to belittle someone or say, 'He sucks.' That's just the harsh reality."
2. Bradford’s QB rating for the game will be 50 points higher than Sanchez’s.
Even without Darrelle Revis for most of the year, the Jets have been pretty good on pass defense allowing the sixth fewest passing yards per game. But Sam Bradford seems to be hitting his stride over his last four games with an average rating of 91.7 over that span. And last week with the return of Danny Amendola, Bradford had a 104.1 performance against the 49ers fifth ranked pass defense.
On the other end, Sanchez has an average rating of 64 on the road this season. Part of his woes can be chalked up to inexperienced wide receivers. After Santonio Holmes was put on injured reserve, Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill are now his No. 1 and 2 receivers on the depth chart. Together they have pulled down a combined 78 receptions in their short careers.
3. Tebow’s workload will double.
The Jets have the 30th ranked offense and with Ryan on the hot seat, the pressure is on to try something different this week. Tebow has yet to have more than three pass attempts or five carries in a game. His highest combination of the two was last week at Seattle when he had four carries and threw three passes.
They can get Tebow involved in a number of ways. After Greene decided to throw more gas on the distraction fire this week, and with his ho-hum 3.7 yards per carry, I wouldn’t put it past Ryan to forget the wildcat and line Tebow up at running back to take some carries. Or maybe they will get creative with some gadget plays.
Although Greene could've kept it in the locker room, he is absolutely right. The Jets definitely need to try something different because what they're doing is not working.