Jets vs Lions: The Key Match-ups


Kevan Barlow is tied for 2nd in the NFL among non-kickers with 24 points

The match-up of the Jets and the Lions pits a team that starts slow against a club that has had problems finishing games. Both clubs made inroads to change those tags last week, with New York scoring in the first quarter while Detroit was able to hold a fourth quarter lead to win its first game of the season.

The focus of this game will be on the star receivers, Laveranues Coles and Roy Williams, and how each club will design an offensive scheme to get their playmaker in mismatches with the opposing defense. Lions coach Rod Marinelli is hoping for a victory this week and the return of several starters after next week's bye. With a game against Cleveland before their bye, the Jets are looking to go 5-3 before they face the Patriots and Bears in consecutive games in November.

Match up 1

WR Laveranues Coles (5'11", 193 lbs) vs. CB Fernando Bryant (5'10", 175 lbs). This is the third consecutive game that Coles faces aggressive corners that jam receivers at the line of scrimmage to take away the timing routes. While Bryant has been effective in neutralizing both the run and the short passing game, he tends to bite on the pump fake, allowing receivers to get behind him. Look for Coles to take the square-out pattern deep when Bryant jumps the underneath route off the double pump.

Match up 2

WR Roy Williams (6'2", 212 lbs) vs. CB Andre Dyson (5'10", 183 lbs). Williams is bigger than the prototypical receiver in a Mike Martz offensive scheme, but his speed and ability to catch the ball away from his body led to a 10-reception, 161-yard game against the Bills last week. Williams can be rerouted when jammed at the line of scrimmage, but Dyson relies more on his speed to smother receivers in coverage. With Williams' leaping ability, look for the Lions to seek out this match-up, especially in red zone situations.

Match up 3

LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson (6'6", 313 lbs) vs. DE James Hall (6'2", 280 lbs). Hall had 3.5 sacks last week, relying on his speed to gain upfield penetration to disrupt the outside run or gain entry to the pass pocket from behind. But he is unable to recover when teams run the draw at him. He gets too far upfield, which allows the OT to run him out of the play. Ferguson has already faced some elite pass-rush specialists and has developed a solid punch to drive defenders beyond the quarterback's launch point. If the Jets rookie neutralizes Hall, Detroit risks getting burned in their blitz packages as they were against the Vikings and Bills in the last two weeks.

Things to Look For:

Teams: The Lions have won six of ten meetings in this series, including four of the last five. The Jets won the last meeting, 31-14 at Detroit in 2002, and the Lions captured a 10-7 decision at the Meadowlands during the 2000 season…The Lions won their first game of the season last week. They are 3-12 in their last 15 games and have just two road wins in the last two seasons…The Jets have won three of their last four contests at home against NFC opponents…a Jets win will give the team four wins, equaling their 2005 total.

Chad Pennington: Pennington completed 80% of his passes, threw four TD passes, and had a passer rating of 126.9 in his only game against the Lions in 2002…has completed 68.5% of 3rd down passes, best in the NFL.

Kevan Barlow: Tied for 2nd in NFL among non-kickers with 24 points.

Leon Washington: Is averaging 4.6 yards per carry in his last two games.

Kevan Barlow: Has a TD in three of six games this season.

Laveranues Coles: Is 2nd in the NFL with 38 receptions…has 11 career catches against Detroit, all 11 for 1st downs.

Brad Smith: On 3rd & 1 he's getting the ball. He's three for three on 3rd & 1 rushes this year.

Bryan Thomas: Has been the team's leading tackler in each of the last two games.

Jon Kitna: Leads the NFL in completions and is 3rd in passing yards

Kevin Jones: Is 2nd among NFL RB's with 31 receptions…is averaging 76 rushing yards per game over the last three games…is averaging 17 carries a game.

Roy Williams: Has eclipsed 100 receiving yards in three of his last four games…has a TD catch in last three games against AFC opponent.

Donnie Henderson: Former Jets defensive coordinator now holds the same position in Detroit.

Friday Injury ReportJets
Questionable: FB B.J. Askew (foot), CB David Barrett (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), WR Tim Dwight (thigh), RB Cedric Houston (knee), & OL Trey Teague (ankle)
Probable:*DL Dave Ball (hand), *RB Kevan Barlow (calf), *LB Matt Chatham (foot), *OL Anthony Clement (shin), *OL Pete Kendall (thigh), *QB Chad Pennington (calf), *S Kerry Rhodes (thigh), *WR Brad Smith (thigh) & *DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (knee)

Lions Out: DT Shaun Cody (toe) & S Kenoy Kennedy (foot)
Questionable: LB Alex Lewis (knee), FB Cory Schlesinger (hamstring), OL Rex Tucker (knee) & G Ross Verba (hamstring)

  • Denotes players who participated in practice
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