While it may be a little clichéd, I am just too hyped about Sunday’s contest to not write about it. So if you all will kindly indulge me, I proudly present my 5 keys to the game:
(A note: I am not going mention Peyton, because we all know he is key to game. You could write a book on how important he is. So I’ll be writing about other things)
5) The Wide Receiving and Tight End Corps: I am specifically thinking of Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne. The Jets are going to blitz, we all know that. When they blitz, that will leave one-on-one on the outside. That means Peyton will be taking shots early and those balls have to be hauled in. A few big touchdowns early over the top can help put this game out of reach
4) The O-line: As I said above, the Jets will blitz. That means that Jeff Saturday is going to be key. He is Peyton’s colonel, the man who makes adjustments and calls to his fellow trenchmen. The big men up front have to keep Peyton upright and, when necessary, open up holes to control the clock.
3) Joseph Addai: I am thinking more as a blocker than a runner, though Joe has improved drastically over last season in that department. Addai is arguably the best pass blocking RB in the league and he needs to be in top form Sunday because there is just as much pressure on him to keep Peyton upright. The same goes for Mike Hart and Donald Brown.
2) The Defense: It might just be me, but the soundbites we’ve gotten from Raheem Brock, Gary Brackett, and Dwight Freeney gives me the impression these guys want to rip someone’s head-off. The D has gotten no love this week, totally overshadowed by the opponents. Again. They want blood and I’m feeling a huge game from them. Remember, Dwight got 2 sacks on Sanchez while on a pitch count back in December.
1) THE 12TH MAN: The front office was lavish with its praise of the fans after the Raven’s win, and with good reason. Aside from the 2006 AFC Championship, I’ve never felt the stadium so charged. It’s time to bring it again, as Raheem has been urging us to do all week. I get the feeling the Jets have no idea how loud The Luke can be, because that December 26 game was no where near playoff atmosphere. Guys, it’s time to bring it again. I want to wake up Monday and hear Rex Ryan complaining about piped in crowd noise, just like a certain hoodie after 2006!