In this week’s Invading the Nest, Joe Caporoso of TurnOnTheJets.com answers a number of questions for us.
We start by talking a little bit about Mark Sanchez and the Jets current chances of making it into the playoffs. We also talk about how much the Jet’s will miss Jim Leonhard as well as how former Temple Owl Muhammad Wilkerson has been playing this year.
We then get into the game, looking closely at where each team will have an advantage on Sunday and we end with a prediction on the game from Joe.
BirdsFan: Mark Sanchez is one of those guys who just can’t seem to play with any consistency. What are your feelings about Sanchez? Do you think he could ever lead the Jets to a Lombardi trophy?
TurnOnTheJets: I think Sanchez is one of the most unfairly criticized players in the NFL. If he was a religious man playing in Denver, he’d be lauded for his ability to win. The guy is 28-17 as a starter with 4 playoff wins already and hasn’t even played 3 full seasons yet. Yes, he struggles with his accuracy and decision making at times but he is a winner and players better the bigger the spot gets. I absolutely believe he can lead the Jets to a Super Bowl.
BF: The Jets sit in the driver seat right now. How do you see the rest of the season playing out? Do they make the playoffs? If so, how far do you think they can go?
TOTJ: I think the Jets will ultimately find a way into the playoffs, probably as a 10-6 team. Once they are in, they are dangerous as we’ve seen the past two years. I think they can pull off an upset or maybe two but I am not sure they are equipped to get over the hump this season.
BF: How much of an impact do you see the loss of Jim Leonhard having on Sunday’s game? The rest of the season?
TOTJ: It hurts, particularly in the punt return game. The Jets haven’t any consistency there except for Leonhard. On defense, they will miss his leadership but if Brodney Pool can stay healthy they should be okay.
BF: Muhammad Wilkerson, the Jets first-round rookie draft picked, used to play his home games at Lincoln Financial Field with Temple last season. How has he performed for the Jets this season?
TOTJ: Wilkerson has quietly put together a very good year. He is solid against the run and has got a decent push rushing the quarterback. I am not sure he will ever be a Pro-Bowl type player but will likely be a key piece of the Jets defense for years to come.
BF: On Sunday, where will the Jets have an advantage on offense? On defense?
TOTJ: The Jets biggest advantage is their physicality and ability to play well in the fourth quarter. On offense, I expect Shonn Greene to have a big day going North and South on the Eagles. On defense, I think Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie can get Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin out of their game.
BF: Where will the Eagles have an advantage on offense? On defense?
TOTJ: The Eagles speed on offense will be a big problem for the Jets, particularly from LeSean McCoy on the edges. On defense, Jason Babin could be a big problem for Wayne Hunter, the Jets inconsistent right tackle.
BF: What player could be a potential x-factor for the Jets on Sunday?
TOTJ: Aaron Maybin. He is the only Jets player in the front seven with the speed to chase around Vick. If he can bring him down for a few sacks and force a fumble, it could be the difference in the game.
BF: Give me a score prediction.
TOTJ: I think the Eagles will be leading the whole way, but the Jets will put together a big fourth quarter to escape with a 27-24 victory.