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6 Storylines: Jets-Cardinals

As Green & White Look for a Reversal of Fortunes, Fitz Returns Home & Harris Aims to Keep Streak Alive


An Early Jump**: In four of the Jets' first five games, the Green & White have scored on their opening possession. Conversely the Cardinals are the only team in the NFL who has not scored a point in the first quarter.  The Cards have a lot of offensive firepower, but they've yet to get it going early in ball games.  If form holds, the Jets would have an opportunity to quiet fans who have already seen two losses at home early in the 2016 season.

A Desert Run: The Cardinals rank No. 23 against the run (118.2 yards per game) and they just yielded 151 yards to the 49ers in their 33-21 victory over San Francisco.  Despite facing second-half deficits in each of the past three games, the Jets still are ranked No. 13 in rush offense (104.4 yards per game).  Matt Forte, who ripped off a 28-yard run vs. the Steelers, and Bilal Powell, who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, could be keys against a defense that brings the heat off the edge and features ball hawks in the secondary.

The Cards won't threaten the Jets with just an aerial assault. RB David Johnson is an emerging star, a back who averages 5.0 yards per carry and is equally dangerous out of the backfield as he averages 14 yards a reception. While the Jets' rush defense has been excellent, Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell did most of his damage last week as a receiver.

Converge on Carson: After setting career highs in passing yards (4,671), touchdowns (35) and QB rating (104.6) last season, Palmer has had a bumpy start to 2016. Palmer, who is scheduled to start after missing Week 5 action with a concussion, has been sacked 12 times while completing 58.8% of his passes with 6 TDs and 5 INTs.  Defensively the Jets,  who racked up seven of their 12 sacks in Week 1, know they have to get pressure on Palmer because Arians favors a vertical passing game. Time is required for deep passes and the Cards figure to counter the Jets' pressure with play action, use of the shotgun and extra pass protectors.

Raised In Arizona: While the head coaching matchup between Todd Bowles and Bruce Arians has taken center stage, Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is returning home. Fitzpatrick, who was born in Gilbert, AZ, attended Highland HS and set 12 school records along the way.  Fitz also was a member of the school's basketball and track teams, graduating in the top 1 percent of his class before moving east to Harvard. Fitzpatrick, who backed up Palmer in Cincinnati, said this week that he was a huge Cards' fan growing up and one of his favorite players was former Arizona State signalcaller QB Jake "The Snake" Plummer.

"He's always been counted out," Palmer said of Fitzpatrick this week. "I'll be the first one to run around the locker room saying, 'Don't count him out,' because he's a great player and has been for a long time. He's hit a couple bumps and he'll bounce back from those. Hopefully, not against us."

Dave & Darrelle: Back in 2007, the Jets traded up in both the first and second rounds in order to draft CB Darrelle Revis (No. 14 overall) and ILB David Harris (No. 47 overall). While they have taken different career paths to get to this point, both remain key figures on the Jets' defense nearly 10 years later. The defenders are battling hamstring injuries as Revis, who ran at full speed without any setbacks, could return to the lineup after missing Week 5. Harris has started 121 consecutive games and it wouldn't be wise to ever count the Hitman out.

Second Half Surge: In order to become the third AFC East team to take down the Cardinals this season, the Jets will need to make two to three momentum-changing plays in the second half. Outscored 37-7 in the past three second halves combined, the Green & White have to find a way to finish in primetime.

A Look Back at the Highlights over the Years Against the Cardinals

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