banner

NFL

more stats

20
Final 1234Score
New Orleans773320
NY Jets3173326
Preview | Matchup | Log | Wrap | Box
26


NFL Preview - New Orleans (6-1) at N.Y. Jets (4-4)



By Lyle Fitzsimmons, Contributing NFL Editor

(SportsNetwork.com) - This time last fall, it was the NFL's Blowhard Bowl.

After eight weeks in 2012, coach Rex Ryan's New York Jets were two games under .500, coming off an ugly 21-point loss to a division rival and en route to the first losing season in the four microphone-friendly years of the Buddy Ryan progeny's reign.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's Cowboys had also lost more than they'd won, were licking wounds from a home loss to the New York Giants and had allowed 27 or more points in four of the seven games they'd played.

Not exactly the scenario of choice for the league's two most-outspoken twin brothers.

But this year, the actions are closer to backing up the talk.

Rex's Jets have been a pleasant, albeit maddeningly inconsistent, surprise, winning four of their first eight games on a 2013 schedule many assumed wouldn't yield that many Ws as a whole.

And though he was jettisoned from Dallas after one disappointing year, Rob has managed to land on his feet and has spent his return year making a long-porous team downright stingy.

His New Orleans Saints enter the Week 9 road test at Met Life Stadium as the fourth-best scoring defense in the league, a season after they were 31st in the same category; and the 12th-best in yardage allowed, a year after they were dead last in the NFL.

It's a drastic departure from recent tradition in the Big Easy, where even the 2009 Super Bowl championship team was only 25th best in total defense.

Linebacker Curtis Lofton, who leads New Orleans in tackles with 55, said it's no mystery why the same players are producing significantly different results.

"People think that those players that were playing in that scheme were terrible," he said. "So you get a new defensive coordinator that comes in and plays to the strengths of players in this locker room, and guys are playing out there confident, playing fast, like it's a whole different team."

Undaunted by the Cowboys disaster, Ryan came to town and championed a 3-4 defensive alignment whose focus was getting to the quarterback and creating havoc. It's paid off handsomely through seven games - in which the Saints have lost just once - with the team ranked fourth in the league in turnover margin (plus-8) and tops in the NFC in sacks (3.4 per game).

"It's a highly motivated group," Ryan said.

This week, it's a trouble making coach's dream: a rookie QB who's thrown 13 interceptions in eight NFL starts. But that rookie, New York's Geno Smith, insists his confidence has taken no hits in spite of the early-stage ups and downs.

"I'm the type of guy that's always going to put it behind me because you can't get it back," Smith said. "It's come and gone. As bad as I want to take some of those throws back, to have some of those plays back, you can't get them back."

Smith, who's been sacked 28 times, has seven touchdowns and four interceptions in the Jets' four wins while posting a 93.7 passer rating. In the four losses, he's thrown one TD, seven interceptions and compiled an ugly 51.7 rating.

New York has alternated wins and losses through eight weeks and comes into the Saints contest off the ugliest loss of the season - a 49-9 debacle in which Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes and the defense was gashed for 402 total yards.

The Bengals also returned two Smith TDs for touchdowns. In fact, things were so comprehensively bad that the Jets skipped their routine Monday film review session and went straight to game prep for New Orleans.

Against the Saints, they'll face another productive passer in Drew Brees, who's second in the NFC in yardage (2,290) and leads the conference in both passer rating (109.2) and TD passes (19).

He hit rookie Kenny Stills three times last week - in a 35-17 defeat of Buffalo - for 129 yards and two scores, including a 69-yarder.

"I thought it would be more beneficial just to move on to New Orleans, get a start on them," Ryan said, "and that's exactly what we did."

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Airing it Out.

It's hardly a news flash to say Brees is a prolific passer, but he's particularly devastating when throwing the ball down the field -- completing 39.5 percent of attempts beyond 20 yards for eight touchdowns and just one interception. Against a Jets defense that's struggled to contain teams with more than one receiving threat, he could flourish in a big way.

Exacting Revenge.

Jets running back Chris Ivory was a weapon, but not a frequently used one, while playing 24 games in three seasons with New Orleans. Ivory galloped for more than 100 yards while carrying the ball 34 times against New England two weeks ago, and would figure to want to get a heavy workload against a Saints team that's 20th-best in the league against the run.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

For Jets fans frustrated by the team's comprehensive inconsistency, this could be the week you've (sort of) been waiting for.

Rather than continuing the flip-flop that's been evident since the opener in September, the poor matchups here seem destined to make it two straight flops for Gang Green, thanks mainly to Brees and his full complement of targets.

Sports Network predicted outcome: Saints 31, Jets 18

10/31 13:02:41 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
 
Final
TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
Final
ISU 77
OKLA 70
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMO
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
EMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
GEOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
IOWA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USCU
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
KSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
HC
GHND
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MD
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
MISS
 
7:00pm Tonight
DAY
RIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
 
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
 
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
 
Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SJS 4
MON 0
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS