Coming off a terrible loss to the Miami Dolphins last week, the New York Jets will look to rebound against the reigning NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons who stand at 3-3. The 3-4 Jets will be put to the test at home in a game that is a very important one to their potential success for the rest of the season.
Week Eight New York Jets Keys to Victory
Shut Down Julio Jones
Julio Jones is one of the best receivers in the NFL. However, this season he has only caught one touchdown, which came last week against the New England Patriots. His struggles definitely correlate to the Falcons average start to the season.
Morris Claiborne will most likely be tasked with covering Jones during the game. Since Jones caught his first touchdown last week, Matt Ryan will definitely be looking his way on a lot of his dropbacks to try and get Jones in a groove for the rest of the season.
Last week against the Dolphins, a big reason why Miami came back was because of the secondary. Buster Skrine, who will not play this week due to a concussion, had one of his worst games in a Jet uniform. Whether it is Claiborne, or a mixture of a couple of corners, the Jets will need to take Jones out of the game and let the other wideouts hurt them to have a chance to win.
Keep the Foot on the Gas
Against the Patriots and the Dolphins, the Jets had at least a 14-point lead in both contests. Once the Jets had the lead, the offense became very passive and was too scared to continue to take shots down the field and run an aggressive offense. That cost them two possible wins. If the Jets get a lead in this game, they cannot take the foot off the gas. They need to keep taking shots down the field on offense.
Josh McCown has outplayed his expectations this season so far. He has shown that he can escape the pocket and make plays with his legs so if a big play is not there he has the awareness to tuck the ball and run. The offense is going to need to put up points in this game, and that starts with McCown being able to run a consistent and threatening offense for the entire game; an achievement the Jets have not been able to do at times this season.
Bring Back the Winning Culture
The Jets need to continue to learn how to win. That means that all three phases of the team need to play well. The Jets play with heart; you can see that in the way they pick each other up and the way they interact with their teammates. Unfortunately for the Jets, heart does not make up for mental mistakes. When the Jets can learn how win and know how to play a full game, they can make some noise in the league, but when you blow a 14-point lead against the Miami Dolphins you are not going to be feeling the best you possibly can.
If the Jets can pull off a win at MetLife Stadium on Sunday it could be a season changing win. The Jets need to start quickly because if they put themselves in a hole against a team like Atlanta it will be difficult to win the game. The Jets need a win badly and if they play their game they will have a chance, but if they make a couple of mistakes it will be difficult to overcome those and win the game.