By Tyson Rauch
On Sunday the New York Jets (4-4) take on the New Orleans Saints (6-1), a team that many consider to be one of the best in the National Football League. The Jets are battered and bruised following a disappointing loss to the Bengals, while the Saints enter the game flying high with their explosive offense and aggressive defense.
Keep Brees off of the field
The Jets best defense on Sunday will be their offense and time-consuming drives that will keep Saints quarterback Drew Brees off of the field. Gang Green will look to establish the ground game against a defense that is ranked 19th in the NFL against the run. If New York can get any productivity out of the running game, Geno Smith and company can then try to spread the field and get the defense off balance.
The Jets passing attack could suffer a significant blow this week as tight end Jeff Cumberland is dealing with concussion issues. With Cumberland questionable and Kellen Winslow serving a suspension, New York is now down to its third and fourth string tight ends. Zach Sudfeld and Konrad Reuland, who have a total of three catches between them this season, will handle the tight end duties on Sunday for the New York Jets.
Sudfeld is an interesting prospect for the Jets as he has the size (6’7) and speed to give opposing linebackers and safeties some troubles. The area of concern for both Reuland and Sudfeld is in blocking, where they will be facing a fast an aggressive Saints defense. If the Jets tight ends struggle in protection, it could be a very long day for Geno Smith and the offense.
Santonio out again
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes will not play on Sunday due to his lingering hamstring injury. The veteran pass catcher will be missing his fifth straight game, which will once again put a lot of pressure on the Jets’ patched-together receiver group. Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson have been solid the last two weeks; now Gang Green needs guys like Stephen Hill and Joshua Cribbs to step up.
- WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring)
- TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion), G Willie Colon (calf), C Nick Mangold (ribs), RB Alex Green (hamstring)
- S Antonio Allen (finger)
- WR Joshua Cribbs (knee)
- CB Antonio Cromartie (hip)
- DT Kenrick Ellis (back)
- WR Jeremy Kerley (illness)
- TE Konard Reuland (knee)
- WR Greg Salas (knee)
- CB Darrin Walls (shoulder)
- G Brian Winters (ankle)
For more Jets news and updates, visit Jets Central.
Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.