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Jets-Rams: Can Fitz Lead Red Zone Revival?

5 Storylines Include RB Matt Forté’s Scoring Binge


The Knee**: After spraining his knee against the Dolphins, Ryan Fitzpatrick could be in the lineup against the Rams. But if Fitzpatrick misses a significant amount of practice time this week, then second-year passer Bryce Petty would be in line to make his first professional start.  Head coach Todd Bowles says he's not worried about  turning the page, telling reporters Fitzpatrick gives the Green & White their best chance to win.

"I'm definitely optimistic that I'll be able to go out there and play, and I am going to do everything I can from now until then to make sure that happens," said Fitzpatrick, who indicated he will wear a brace if he plays Sunday.

The Blind Side: Ryan Clady started eight games for the Jets this season, but a shoulder injury landed the veteran LT on injured reserve this week. Swing tackle Ben Ijalana, who rotated with Ben Qvale early this year while RT Breno Giacomini remained on the sideline with a back injury, shifted back to the left side last week against the Dolphins. He figures to finish the year there as it's a position he learned quite well as D'Brickashaw Ferguson's understudy the past two seasons. Meanwhile at center, Wesley Johnson has filled in for veteran Nick Mangold (ankle) the past two games.

Forté's Fortunes: Over the past three weeks, RB Matt Forte has amassed a league-high 5 TDs. His 8 total touchdowns are T4 in the league and he also is the NFL's 8th-ranked rusher with 634 yards on the ground.  If Forté finds the end zone against the Rams, he'll set a personnel best with touchdowns in four consecutive games.*

Red Zone Remedy: Despite Forté's scoring binge, the Jets have struggled in the red zone throughout the season. After a 1-for-5 performance inside the 20 against the Dolphins, the Green & White rank No. 31 in terms of TD efficiency (38.2%). Chan Gailey's unit continues to adjust to life WR Eric Decker, who set a Jets' single-season red zone mark with 10 scoring grabs in 2015. Teams have focused even more attention on star wideout Brandon Marshall, who has been limited to 2 TDs through nine games after setting a career high with 14 receiving scores in 2015.

*DPOY: Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who had two sacks last week in the Rams' 13-10 loss to the Panthers, has totaled five sacks in eight games. The 6'1", 285-pounder, a two-time Pro Bowler who was the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014, had 11 sacks in 2015. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher believes Donald should be in the conversation for top defensive player in the league.

"I'd vote for him. There are a lot of good defensive players in the league right now," Fisher said. "Obviously, I'm a lot closer to him than anybody else is, but when you watch the things that he does, it's really remarkable. We'll see what happens, he needs to finish strong the second half of the year."

The Jets Return to MetLife to Take on the Rams This Sunday

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