This weekend sees the return of the international series after a covid-enforced year off and it’s off to an absolute belter as the 1-3 Jets take on the 1-3 Atlanta Falcons missing one of the few players that people would have been looking forward to seeing.
Going forward, the plan for me would be a separate preview for next weeks thrilling game as well, the Jags v Dolphins, but it’s time dependant so I’ll see how it goes.
I am bitching about the quality but the fact we get these games at all is amazing and something we should be happy with. I will admit it put me off finding the money to get to London for either game this year, but I’ll still be happily watching from home. If you’re off to the game(s), enjoy it! I’ll be regretting going.
It’s safe to say the season hasn’t gone well for either of these teams so far. Zach Wilson was taken at 2 by the Jets and he had a nightmare start, playing some very good defenses who can pressure the QB and the sight of a load of 300lb men charging at him seemed to phase him a little with 7 interceptions in his first 3 games. But the opposing defense eased up last week with the Titans and with some time in the pocket he looked to show why they took him so high. He navigated well and looked a lot better than in previous weeks including a deep shot to Corey Davis on the run which he had the poise to shift Davis where he wanted to drop the ball. Fair play to the kid.
This week he should get time in the pocket as well, the Falcons have sacked opposing QBs just 7 times, and let up a joint-league-leading 11 passing TDs through 4 games this year, and are yet to have an interception having faced Daniel Jones, Tom Brady, Taylor Heinicke and Jalen Hurts. We should see a more comfortable QB under center and against this defense, if he’s any good at all he should be able to move the ball and put up points.
The running back group is far from inspiring though, led by rookie Michael Carter, who’s looked better in recent weeks, but with a high of 59 yards on the season he’s probably not someone to hang your hat on, although he did find the endzone last week against the Titans. Tevin Coleman got involved late on last week as well returning from injury, while Ty Johnson to me, seems like the better runner of the three but doesn’t get too much action. They’re planning for the future, so it makes more sense to keep giving the ball to Carter and see what you’ve got.
The pass-catching group isn’t terrible and with players returning last week it looked a better than the rest of the season. Jamison Crowder was back and heavily targeted on his return, bringing in 7 of his 9 targets for 61 yards. He’s a vital player for a young QB operating in the mid-range of the offense. Corey Davis is the deep threat and has had most of the action thus far, he finished over 100 yards last week, only 4 receptions but 111 yards and a TD on a scramble by Wilson. I didn’t realise it from Redzone last week, but Keelan Cole had 92 yards from his 3 catches and pace is what they brought him in for. It looks like Mimsy and Elijah Moore are back this week too, so there’s a lot of talent there.
Defensively they’ve been good but are missing their two safeties this week which, if they were facing a team with receivers could cost them. Football Outsiders DVOA has them around the middle of the league on that side of the ball and Quinnen Williams looks good (love that kid) and CJ Mosley is apparently looking very good after his break due to Covid last year.
It’s been a rough start for the Falcons and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better here with Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage missing this week. Gage, meh. But Ridley is the WR1 on this team and without him it’s probably not going to be easy for them to get the ball moving consistently.
Matt Ryan actually had his best game of the season last week, he’s looked like an old man back there, but moved the ball well against Washington, mainly to a running back, but yards is yards. It was actually his lowest completion % of the season, but 4 TDs and just the 1 sack makes it seem a lot better. The lack of any protection from his offensive line has been an issue, and the Jets are capable of getting pressure, so it will be an interesting watch. He’s been to London before so has a bit of experience in dealing with the journey at least.
Mike Davis was meant to be the RB1 for the team but he’s not been able to get going, 151 yards through 4 games, at 3.1 per carry isn’t going to win you games, but he did score his first of the year last week with a reception. Talking of which (smooth transition) that’s where most of their offense seems to come through Cordarrelle Patterson. Who is officially an RB but plays wherever he is needed. Many coaches have tried to figure out what to do with him but maybe Arthur Smith is finally the one to get it done as he’s been a beast so far this year. At least 6 carries per game for him, but it’s the passing game he excels in, with 4 scores there already and 235 yards from 18 receptions (5,6,5 the last 3 weeks) – With the issues at WR, there’s a chance they line him up as a WR more often, but we’ll see on that. It could detract from his effectiveness if they do.
So, who is the WR1 then? Er… Olamide Zaccheus? I guess. I don’t know. It’s him, Christian Blake, Tajae fucking Sharpe, and er… Frank Darby according to their depth chart. Safe to say it’s not a good situation there at the moment. I genuinely have nothing to say here, Zaccheus scored the 93 yard TD at the back end of the 2019 season, has 6 receptions this season. Not much to say on ‘tothers.
It seems likely that Kyle Pitts will finally breakout. He’s been threatening and was heavily targeted last week with 9 targets, but has yet to find the endzone so far this year, I think that changes in this game. He’s basically a WR, so it makes sense to me that he’ll lead the team in targets here. Hayden Hurst should get more action as well. He caught 4 of 4 last week in his first proper involvement and o2.5 should be in reach in this one.
They’re not good defensively, but Younghoe Koo is a good kicker. As above, they’ve only got 7 sacks this year and have yet to record an interception.
Is it going to be worth watching?
Lets be fair, we’re lucky to get any games over here and as I see so many tweets from people who have made their way down to London this weekend I’m more and more gutted I didn’t figure something out.
The game itself. I have no idea… It is going to be, er. Interesting? We’ve got a rookie QB in his fifth start who will get to put on a show in a stand-alone game for the first time in his career, against an experienced veteran.
The best unit in the game, might be the Jets defense and I usually try and lean to that side, but for some reason I think this could be a weirdly fun game to watch, maybe it’s some kind of perverse chaos theory that’s interesting me. I don’t know. Either way I’ll be watching as much as I can between transporting the family hither and dither tomorrow.
As for bets, well I can’t NOT bet on the London game. I put out Cordarrelle Patterson receiving yards on twitter a couple of days ago, before the Ridley news, that line has gone up from 35.5 but not a massive amount at 41.5 now, and you can get Even money on him having o4.5 receptions at Skybet which I prefer to the yards now. He’s also 7/5 on Paddypower to find the endzone.
Jamison Crowder leads the Jets in redzone targets. He’s played one game. Last week. Catching 4 of his 5 targets down there, with 1 TD. So it seems stupid to not back him for a score. Best priced at 9/4 on Boylesport.
- Pitts and Crowder both to score – 7/1 (Skybet) – 2 pt stake
- Cordarrelle Patterson o4.5 receptions – 1/1 (Skybet) – 3 pt stake
If you’re going, enjoy the game, remember that terrible games on paper sometimes provide the best entertainment!
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