The Jets May Want to Slip Something in Drew Brees's Drink

Jets thin at defensive back entering showdown with Saints

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Oct 2, 2009  |  Updated 3:49 PM EDT
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The Jets May Want to Slip Something in Drew Brees's Drink

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Drew Brees looked great in Week 1 -- will he also look great in Week 2?

On the list of Twitter messages you don't want to see 48 hours before the Jets take the Superdome field against the Saints, the one Kerry Rhodes sent out on Friday afternoon is right at the bottom of the list.

Not feeling so good 2day

The reason Rhodes isn't feeling good isn't clear. He may have had a bad burrito or could have bet on Madrid winning the 2016 Olympics, but it probably has to do with the news that two of his teammates won't be in the lineup for the game against the Saints. Cornerbacks Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland are both going to miss the game with injuries, leaving the Jets terribly shorthanded against the most terrifying passing attack that the NFL has to offer.

The Jets did just fine without either of those guys in the lineup against the Titans last weekend, but the difference between an offense run by Kerry Collins and one run by Drew Brees is the same as the difference between a Saturday night in Des Moines and one in New Orleans. The Jets would have a tough time stopping Brees cold at full strength, but now they are going to need a near-superhuman effort to keep the Saints off the scoreboard.

The good news is that if there's a man capable of summoning such an effort, it's Rex Ryan and the pass rush should still be coming as hard as it would have with Sheppard and Strickland in the lineup. If the Jets can get to Brees and force him to hurry his throws, the drop-off in talent should be less pronounced than if Brees has all day to find holes in the coverage provided by Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman. It only takes about 30 seconds to find those holes and Brees will exploit them if given the chance.

The other piece of good news is that the Jets will actually have the ball from time to time during the course of the game. Keeping the Saints offense off the field will be a big help to the defense, which means that the team has to get the running game going in a way they never could against the Titans. So much of the focus of this game has been on the matchup with Brees and the Saints offense, that the role the Jets offense has to play has been minimized.

That's a mistake, because there's a good chance they'll wind up being the deciding factor come Sunday even if the Jets defense shows up without a couple more players.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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