For only the second time as head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan elected not to subject the players to the film from last weeks 49-9 beat down at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. He decided that everyone knows what happened last week and there would not be much to learn from the massacre. The Saints are coming off of a 35-17 win over the Bills and they show no signs of slowing down. They are 6-1 overall and have proven they are not just a dominant team at home but that they are capable of winning on the road.
The Saints seem to appear reborn on both sides of the ball. The return of Sean Payton continues to produce results as evidenced by their 35 points last week and their steady production all season long. They are more balanced than any of the Saints teams of this era. Last week no receiver caught more than 4 passes and an astounding 10 different people caught passes all together. Payton’s impact can be felt in the amount of different packages they have and therefore the amount of players that rotate in and out depending upon the opponent. The running game is still not a strength, however they make up for a lack of a traditional ground game with a screen pass and short passing game that in many ways takes its place. Pierre Thomas has been the most consistent of the running backs and had 64 yards on 14 carries last week. The teams’ defense has gone from ranked amongst the bottom 5 in the league to being in the top 10. Much of that credit has to go to new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who brings his sophisticated, high impact defense to New Orleans. The system has allowed a dramatic improvement in a unit that has many of the same players it had last season.
The Jets are coming off a bad loss. There were no positives to take away from the game and it gave the team a reminder that they have a lot of work to do if they really intend on trying to make a playoff run. In what had been a positive the last few weeks, the running game was non-existent last week. Six different players ran the ball for a total of 93 yards. It may be in the best interest of the team to decide between Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell and make that person the feature back as opposed to the rotation they have been using. With a rookie quarterback and inexperienced receivers this team is not headed to the playoffs with a pass happy offense. They will need to find an identity on the ground in order to win games. The defense, which had been very strong this season was annihilated by the Bengals and it remains to be seen if it was just a bad week or a sign of things to come.
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