Five Things to Watch: Houston Texans on Monday Night

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

Five things to consider about this week’s opponents for the Jets … add yours in the comments.

  1. Triage Unit — The Jets players are falling like flies and it’s going to be hard for the Jets to overcome losing key players like Revis and Holmes for the season.  But in tonight’s game the Jets might still be without Stephen Hill, Dustin Keller and Sione Po’uha.  Having lost that many starters for any single game is never easy and it puts pressure on the backups and the remaining players to perform at their absolute best with a very narrow margin of error.
  2. It’s All Good — Special Teams is the weakest single area for the Texans, but their offense and defense have been playing very very well so far this year, which will leave little room for the Jets to maneuver.  Look to see if Westhoff doesn’t try and help out Pettine and Sparano with a stolen possession of special teams.
  3. Jo versus Cro — The matchup of the night might be Cromartie on Andre Johnson.  Johnson has been held down in years past by Darrelle Revis, but Cromartie will pull a tough assignment in Johnson, a player who is both physical and fast.  Even if Cro plays extremely well, Matt Schaub has been connecting nicely with his other pass catchers, guys like WR Kevin Walter and TE Owen Daniels and so the Jets will have to limit Schaub’s damage in the passing game as best they can.
  4. Run Baby Run —  utside the Texans air assault, the team is well balanced with a great running game.  Arian Foster and the Texans offensive line are in synch and the Jets have yet to bottle up teams when it comes to running the football.  Losing Sione this week is never good, even if he was playing hurt. Even if a healthy Ellis can play better, the linebackers need to dial back their overpursuit of the ball and maintain their gaps and wrap up much much better. When the Jets run the ball conventionally, they should try and test the middle of that Texans defense as it might be their best bet at getting some solid yardage.
  5. Mix It Up — JJ Watt is a tremendous player and could eat Mark Sanchez alive tonight.  When the Jets were down and out last year with their protections, they used the Wildcat to get teams like the Redskins off-balance and it kind of worked.  Look to see if the Jets don’t try and keep the Texans on their toes with some unconventional sets and plays.