New York Giants vs. New York Jets. The rivalry game and all that. For some thoughts on the game from a Jets' perspective I turned to the lead blogger for SB Nation's Gang Green Nation, John Butchko. Our Q&A follows
Ed: Do you ever get tired of Rex Ryan talking soooo much? Every coach should have confidence or belief in his team, but do you ever feel like all of Rex's bombast actually hurts the Jets?
John: I don't. He has a winning percentage over .600 and has gotten the team to within a game of the Super Bowl twice with a middle of the pack to bottom tier quarterback. Whatever he's doing can't be hurting too badly.
I have had the chance to speak with a few Jets while with GGN and asked the question. They have all talked about how much they love the guy. They didn't just give dipolmatic, "He's our coach," answers either. They all said they loved what he does.
Also if you look through his run, some of the best games the Jets have played have been the weeks where he has been most vocal. It's like you said. Every coach has confidence in his team. Rex just lets the whole world know unlike most coaches.
Ed: Let's talk about Mark Sanchez. There was a lot of criticism of him earlier in the year. What do you think of how he is playing, and his development as a quarterback?
John: I think Sanchez's lack of progress has been the most disappointing part of the season. The Jets let some key guys walk thinking Sanchez would be able to carry more of the load. It hasn't happened. His numbers are a bit better in some areas, but he is pretty much the same player he was last year. If everything else is working, he can make enough plays to win the game. When he has to carry the load, he is incapable of doing so.
His recent relative run of success has been about the Jets limiting his reads, giving him easy reads, and leaning more heavily on the defense and the run game.
I don't think he has been coached particularly well on the offensive side of the ball. I think the team's personnel decisions to change his receiving corps and weaken the offensive line have hurt. I also can't get over the uncanny way Sanchez's first three years remind me of Eli Manning's both in statistics and tendencies. I think Sanchez has been very disappointing, however.
Ed: I'm sure you are aware of what Jason Pierre-Paul has been doing the past few weeks. The guy is -- easily -- the Giants best defensive player. How do you see the JPP-D'Brickishaw Ferguson match-up playing out?
John: I think Ferguson is one of the few tackles in the league with the physical ability to match up with JPP. I also think JPP is one of the few defensive linemen in the league with the physical ability to give Ferguson problems. My guess is this will be a great matchup. Both guys will have their share of success.
If I was the Giants, I would avoid this matchup whenever possible and put JPP on the other side of the ball against Wayne Hunter, who is slow off the snap and recognition and frequently uses bad technique. That would be a complete mismatch. The Jets have seen a lot of teams avoid having their best pass rusher face Ferguson and target Hunter. It has been very successful.
Ed: If you could take one player off the Giants roster and put him in the Jets lineup, who would it be? Why?
John: That's easy, Eli Manning. The Jets would be scary if they could combine their defense with a quarterback capable of consistently utilizing the big talent they have at the skill positions.
Ed: I have to ask. What is your prediction for Saturday?
John: I like this matchup for the Jets. I think they are better equipped to stop what the Giants do well on offense with their three outstanding cover corners and Jake Ballard likely out than the Giants are to stop the run.
Wouldn't it be fitting, though, if this game between two inconsistent teams finished in a tie to doom them both in the playoff race?