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New Orleans773320
NY Jets3173326
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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

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
9th
SDP 5
ANA 4
 
8th
ATL 2
LOS 1
 
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR