Sunday, September 28, 2014

Matchup Mashup: Your Jets-Lions primer


Week 4: Detroit Lions (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2), 1 p.m.
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Weather: Mostly sunny, low-80s, 0 percent chance of rain (accuweather)

The skinny:
Coming off of losses to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, the Jets continue the tough beginning stretch of their schedule against yet another NFC North opponent, this time the Detroit Lions. Gang Green's so-so cornerback corps will be tasked with containing Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, probably their toughest quarterback-receiver test to date. With two heavyweight defensive fronts squaring off, the defenses will go punch-to-punch. The question will be whether Jets quarterback Geno Smith can eliminate the game-turning miscues, as he's moved the ball well this year but has thrown costly interceptions that probably amount to the difference between a winning and losing record.

What to watch for (links):
- How does Jace Amaro fare against the team that passed him over in the draft?
- Can Chris Ivory continue his train-like momentum in Week 4?
- Will Darrin Walls and the Jets' cornerback corps be able to at least manage Johnson?
- Can Willie Colon and the interior of New York's defensive front hold up against Ndamukong Suh?
- Has Smith learned his lesson with ball security?

Injury report:
Jets receiver Eric Decker will play after a hamstring injury took him out of last week's game. Cornerback Dee Milliner, though, will likely again be sidelined. For the Lions, Johnson is listed as questionable heading into Sunday with an ankle ailment, though he's expected to be a go.

Other tidbits from the week:
Breno Giacomini is putting his friendship with Golden Tate on hold for a day; Stafford spent some time Friday stranded due to a bridge collapsing; The Jets' tailbacks are seeking more carries.

Our picks:
Nick: Lions 21, Jets 20
Dan: Lions 24, Jets 20

Head-to-head recent history:
The Jets won the teams' last meeting, a 23-20 overtime thriller in 2010. Gang Green has won the last three straight against the Lions, though the teams are knotted, 6-6, all-time.

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