Last week’s results: New Orleans beat Buffalo 35-17 and Cincinnati beat New York 49-9.
Series History: The Saints lead the series 6-5 in the eleven games played between the teams.
What they are saying:
Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan on facing his brother Rob
“Usually we talk a little noise to each other, things like that. It really is a special thing when you consider how fortunate we both are to be in this league. There are a lot of great coaches that are coaching football and yet here are two of us, twin brothers. I don’t know how many twin brother combinations there have been in the league, but certainly to make it this far and have the success that we’ve had throughout our careers and things (is special). As Rob will quickly point out, he has two Super Bowl rings and I have one. I understand that. But it’s really great. I certainly appreciate the kind of coach my brother is. He is outstanding. I think New Orleans probably sees that also, the job that he has done and really his (entire defensive coaching) staff, not just him, obviously you have a great coach with him in Joe Vitt, (and then)) you got the crime dog (Wesley McGriff) with him in the secondary. It is a great combination there, and to go from historically being a bad defense to where they are now. I think they are ranked 12th in total, but fourth in scoring. They are creating turnovers. They are getting sacks on the quarterback. It’s an outstanding defense in preventing points and everything else. But the job that they have done has been outstanding and it doesn’t surprise me, because I know my brother. And then you have the combination of...oh by the way...then Sean Payton over there on offense, that’s a combination.”
NY Jets Running Back Chris Ivory on facing his former team:
“No, no extra motivation. I’ll treat it like any other game. I was with New Orleans; loved it there, but I think I’ll treat it like any other game, any more or any less. I’m treating it like any other game.”
Saints Coach Sean Payton on NY Jets Rookie QB Geno Smith:
“Well the one impressive statistic is his finishes. He’s had four of these come from behind or game-winning drives. I think for a young quarterback, that’s a big thing to build on. He has a strong arm and you can see that in the confidence in his teammates. I think you can see on film when they are late in games and it is close. He has been able to deliver there and I think that is a pretty good trait.”
The Big Chief’s Final Analysis
Okay, its real simple, when you get beat down, you’re more motivated to play better. If that’s the case, this Sunday the Saints have a big time battle on their hands. The Jets got flat out embarrassed last week in a 49-9 drubbing by the Bengals.
The Jets were not expected to win the four games they've already won. And now as NY enters the second half of the season they are in position to hang around a while and make things interesting in the AFC East.
New York has not lost back to back games this season. And, after a loss, the Jets have bounced back with big wins including two weeks ago, when NY knocked off New England at Met Life Stadium. When New York wins, they run the ball well, play sound defense and they don’t turn the ball over. When they lose, they do the complete opposite.
I fully expect NY to come out and play much better this week. The Saints on the other hand are also coming off a game in which they wish they had played better. Although New Orleans won handily 35-17 over the Bills, players and Coach Sean Payton were not at all satisfied with the team’s performance.
The Saints squandered two opportunities to score, when kicker Garrett Hartley missed two field goals. The Saints once again struggled in the running game gaining only three yards per rush. And, the Black & Gold played sloppy at times, getting flagged eight times for 59 yards. On top of that, the Saints "red zone" woes continued last week... going 3 for 5 in the scoring area.
To me, this is a dangerous game for the Saints. The Jets have the ability to keep the pace of a game to their liking, and if New York rushes the ball well, I expect them to be close in the fourth quarter. Against New England two weeks ago, New York set an early tone by forging a 12 play 80 yard drive that lasted over five minutes. The end result? A touchdown pass from QB Geno Smith to WR Jeremy Kerley.
I’m quite sure, if the Saints can get out to an early 10-14 point lead, it will put greater pressure on Jets QB Geno Smith. When he is under pressure to make "must have" throws, he is not nearly as effective as when he can dictate when to pass. So far this season seven of Geno Smith's interceptions were due to an overthrown or underthrown pass, which is tops in the NFL.
I look for the Saints defense to keep Smith uncomfortable. I also look for Drew Brees to have his fair share of good passing plays against a NY secondary that was scorched last week by the Bengals. The Jets defense will play much better, but the Saints will get enough offense to win.
I think this will be a close game. I’ll go with the Saints to win, but I’ll take the Jets with 5 ½ points. New Orleans 20 New York 16.