Week 5: New York Jets Vs. Houston Texans
- QuarterbackMark Sanchez is fighting a war on two fronts. The most important of those two battles is the effort to show he can be consistently productive. He simply may not be good enough or accurate enough to win that battle. The other is the Tim Tebow battle, where that quarterback’s popularity may ultimately force him into the lineup at Sanchez’s expense.Matt Schaub has passed the test. No, not the statistical test. He demonstrated long ago that he was an accurate passer who could move the ball. He passed the toughness test. When his helmet got ripped off a couple of weeks ago against the Broncos and a piece of his ear was missing and Schaub was back in the game in minutes, it was clear that he had become one of the top leaders in the league.
- OffenseThe Jets wanted to establish their running game to take pressure off of their subpar passing game, but so far this season Shonn Greene has run for 191 yards on 68 carries and has been replaced by Bilal Powell. Santonio Holmes added insult to injury when he flipped the ball in the air after going down awkwardly and the 49ers’Carlos Rogers turned the gift into a touchdown. Holmes (foot) may miss several games.The Texans are a fairly simple offensive team. They like to batter you with running back Arian Foster and come after you with a big-play wide receiver in Andre Johnson. If that’s not enough, tight end Owen Daniel will make plays on third down to keep drives alive.
- DefenseThe season-ending injury suffered by All-Pro cornerback Darelle Revis cannot be overstated. Revis is head coach Rex Ryan’s favorite player and his team knows it. Linebacker David Harris is a solid tackler but he is not a superstar.The Texans are one of the top defensive teams in the league. J.J. Watt (2.0 sacks against Tennessee in Week 4) is rapidly becoming one of the elite pass rushers in the league and Brian Cushing is one of the most dependable tacklers. Danieal Manning is a big-play specialist in the Texans’ secondary.
- Special TeamsThe Jets have solid coverage teams and that has been one of the most consistent aspects of their team. Outgoing special teams coach Mike Westhoff has not relaxed his standards. Joe McKnight is a threat as a return man.The Texans are reasonably happy with their special-teams duo of placekicker Shayne Graham and punter Donnie Jones. Neither specialist is a superstar, but both are functional players and that’s enough on a team that is this strong on offense and defense.
Houston’s edges at quarterback and offense are huge and that could make this game a one-sided blowout for the Texans. Look for the Texans to continue their roll because the Jets can’t threaten on offense.