A special contribution from NFLWeather.com
By Chris Lovi
Few compliments can be given to Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets offense, thus far, this season. Perhaps the only thing Jets fans can look forward to is the possibility of avoiding a chilly evening drizzle on Monday night when the Houston Texans come to town, despite the Jets being 3-0 in their last three rain games.
A low temperature around 45 is brisk, but NFLWeather.com reports a 10% chance of rain at MetLife Stadium for Monday night. If the rain holds off it will be mostly clear with a slight chance of Tim Tebow. One thing that’s for sure is the forecast is calling for a heavy dose of Arian Foster, all night long. Rain, sleet, snow or tsunami, Foster will run straight through it.
The New York Jets defense ranks second to last against the run, giving up 172.8 rushing yards per game. The Jets won’t need to hone in on getting to quarterback Matt Schaub if they can’t contain Arian Foster. Foster will grind out his yardage. Andre Johnson and Schaub have linked up 16 times for 268 yards and two scores, an average of 16.8 yards per catch. But tight end Owen Daniels leads the team with 19 receptions for 232 yards and a pair of TDs as well. It doesn’t help the Jets that their secondary is missing all-pro corner Darrell Revis.
Last week, while Houston (4-0) put up over 30 points for the third time this season, the Jets (2-2) were busy getting shut out at home. And during that 34-0 romp by the San Francisco 49ers, New York ran for a puny 45 total rushing yards, while surrendering 245. It was the third largest home loss in franchise history, and if something doesn’t change then it’s about to be the fourth behind Monday night’s massacre.
Whether or not Rex Ryan calls for Tebow time on the 666th edition of Monday Night Football, it’s obvious that quarterback Mark Sanchez is struggling even on short passes. Last week he only completed 8 of 17 attempts for 46 yards and an interception. His league-worst completion percentage of 49.2% and 26th-ranked 203.3 passing yards per game simply isn’t cutting it. And to make matters worse, receiver Santonio Holmes is out for the season, and Jason Hill and Dustin Keller are sidelined with injuries. That leaves second year man Jeremy Kerley as the starter with 10 receptions for 197 yards and two touchdowns on the year and Chaz Schilens as the number two.
Usually bad weather favors the underdog, but when the underdog has to go up against Arian Foster and that enormous offensive line in the rain, few stand a chance to stand up to that wrecking ball. Houston is 4-0 in rain games since 2009, according to NFLWeather.com, and 1-0 on the road. The best way to slow down the Texans offense is to keep them off the field. Therefore, the Jets desperately need to control the clock. And maybe the answer to cracking the Texans D is a more unconventional offense such as the Wildcat. Not a single statistic can help the Jets, but maybe the weather can.