The Jets Want Nothing More Than to Spoil Moss’ Debut and Favre’s Return
Tonight’s football game has all of the drama and storylines one would expect from a Monday Night Football game that includes Brett Favre taking on the NFL’s most talked about team, the New York Jets. The Jets enter the game winners of three in a row, while the Vikings are coming off of a bye week in which they were able to get healthy and significantly improve their wide receiving corps, via the acquisition of Randy Moss. Oh, and add the controversy that our friends at Deadspin(NSFW) have started with the reported voicemail and subsequent shots of Favre’s little (with the word little stressed) friend and this is a primetime soap opera tonight!So far this season the Vikings’ passing game has been nonexistent because they haven’t had a deep threat receiver fast enough to stretch the defense, until now.
Sidney Rice has been out recovering from hip surgery, Bernard Berrian has underproduced, and their slot receiver Percy Harvin has been their top wideout, but his migraine headaches have been a constant concern. Moss’ return to Minnesota will make the Jets’ defense honest and stop them from facing eight or nine man fronts, and will give them the deep threat needed to open up their offense. Like the Vikings, the Jets will receive a big boost at the wide receiver position because Santonio Holmes is expected to make his season debut after being forced to sit the first four games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.Holmes, acquired from Pittsburgh in April, will add another dimension to an already potent offense that is in the midst of a three-game winning streak. In addition to Holmes, the Jets are going to get back Calvin Pace back after breaking his foot during a preseason game, and Darrelle Revis makes his return after injuring his hamstring while covering Randy Moss during the Patriots game.
The return of Holmes will allow the Jets to spread the field and utilize their three-receiver package with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Holmes, along with Dustin Keller at tight end. With LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene in the backfield, it will be hard for the Vikings to key on one single player. If the Jets’ offensive line can provide Mark Sanchez with enough time to read the defense, it will be a long day at the office for the Vikings. Behind a raucous home crowd and with the whole nation watching, I fully expect the Jets to spoil Moss’ debut and Favre’s return to the Meadowlands.Nick Mangold joined ESPN Radio in New York to talk about whether he liked playing with Brett Favre, whether having Santonio Holmes back will change their offensive approach, and what his biggest concern is playing against the Vikings’ defensive line.
Whether he liked playing with Brett Favre:
“Yeah, how could you not? I watched him growing up. He is the greatest, if not one of the greatest quarterbacks ever and to have the experience was fantastic.”
Whether Brett Favre was friendly to others or whether he kept to himself:
“You know I think he was as friendly as a 39-year old can be with a bunch of 24-year olds running around. He was a good teammate on the field, obviously because of the age difference, I figure, we didn’t spend too much time off the field.”
Whether the team is a little less excited about the Vikings game because they are not an AFC team:
“Oh you better not believe that. That’s when you get it and when you see a team that was right there for the Super Bowl last year and then you watch them playing I think we are pretty amped up for this game.”
Whether having Santonio Holmes back will change their offensive approach:
“You know I think it changes a couple of things here and there but I think in the end, we keep doing what we are doing and now Mark has another weapon at his disposal, which could be pretty lethal for us.”
On the notion that they have so many offensive weapons that not everyone can get involved in each game:
“You know I think the biggest question is, how do you defend that? You look at it from a defensive perspective, what do you put on the field to try to stop us? Luckily for us, everyone here has got a great attitude, we check our egos at the door, so I don’t think anyone is going to be mad about the amount of touches they want but I think it gives Schotty the opportunity to call pretty much anything and to know that he is going to have some playmakers out onto the field to make plays.”
Whether LaDainian Tomlinson continues to surprise him or whether he expects it all the time now:
“Oh no, I expected it when he first came in here and we were watching him and seeing the things that he was doing as he was learning and now he has a great grasp of what we are doing. I expect some explosive plays out of him every game.”
What his biggest concern is playing against the Vikings’ defensive line:
“The fact that they can stop the run and get after the passer with just four people, I think that is the biggest one. You have got the Williams’ brothers in the middle, who are just cloggers, and then on the outside they can really get after it. It is going to be a challenge just with those four and then you have got to remember they have seven other people on the field.”