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JETS - LIONS PREVIEW
By Drew Buono
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
October 20th, 2006
The Jets are fortunate that they don't have to face Lions Pro Bowl DT Shaun Rogers this week who was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The Jets are fortunate that they don't have to face Lions Pro Bowl DT Shaun Rogers this week who was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The New York Jets have hit the easy part of their schedule and are not taking it for granted. They won against Miami like they were supposed to last week and look to even their home record this weekend when the Detroit Lions come to the Meadowlands.

The Lions have one win under their belt and that actually helps to make the Jets favored even more. If the Lions had not lost last weekend to the Bills, people would be saying their due for a win. Now that that is out of the way and the Jets are back on track after their collapse in Jacksonville, the Jets are going to look to beat up on the Lions this Sunday.

Head coach Eric Mangini is looking for his defense to step up every week, “I'd like to think everybody's embracing the system.” For the first couple of weeks it was S Kerry Rhodes who was the playmaker on defense and last week it was LB Victor Hobson. Talking about the defense, Mangini said, “I'd love for every blitz to have an open guy, but sometimes there is a guy that you have to deal with and understanding how that guy is going to block you is really important. So not just where you hit, but then what you encounter once you get to the line.”

The defense though has a tough test this week, taking on an offensive genius in coordinator Mike Martz. According to Lions WR Roy Williams, “I’ve never been around a coach who makes his players play and brings out the best in his players. This is the first coach that I’ve been around that does that and he does a good job of it,” when he discussed Martz’s impact on the team so far.

Lions head coach Rod Marinelli likes the influence of Martz on QB Jon Kitna: “It’s really a nice match, Mike Martz and him, because the mental gymnastics they can play together are incredible. He can really pick up everything Mike throws at him, and he’s tough, that’s what I admire, his leadership and his toughness.”

Meanwhile the Jets offense was a concern this week, but it wasn’t because of anything occurring on the field. For the first time in a month, RB Curtis Martin addressed the media. Martin is confident about returning to the field after the bye, but won’t make any guarantees. Martin’s appearance came as the quartet of running backs are still trying to find their groove in the offense. According to Mangini, the Jets coaches are “figuring out the best package of run (with the quartet), not just for them, but against the opponent.”

The key for the Jets is to start strong again on offense from the beginning of the game. QB Chad Pennington said that he, “thought it was important last week that we did get points on our first possession in the first half, and we also got points on our first possession in the second half.” If the Jets score early and establish a run game, especially with the Lions missing DT Shaun Rogers, it will create room for WR Laveranues Coles to continue on his stellar year.

The Lions defense is horrible against the pass and Coles should be able to have a huge day on Sunday. Coles is modest about the type of player he is compared to other NFL wide receivers, “To be honest, I’ve always felt that I was a decent receiver in the game.” Pennington and Coles are back this year in a big way and Sunday will help increase both of their statistics.

INSIDER TIDBITS:
- The Lions hold a 6-4 record all-time against the Jets, including a 2-0 record at the Meadowlands against Gang Green.
- The only home win the Jets have against the Lions is a 31-10 victory on September 16, 1979 at Shea Stadium.
- The Lions hold the record for most blocked kicks in the NFL since 2001. This is good for K Mike Nugent though because, 9 of those blocks came from suspended DT Shaun Rogers.
- WR’s Laveranues Coles and Roy Williams are in the top ten of almost every major wide receiver category in the NFL. The two are tied for the most 100-yard receiving games this season and Coles is only 15 yards behind Williams for the league lead in receiving yards.

INJURY REPORT:

New York Jets:
-FB B.J. Askew (Foot): Questionable
-CB David Barrett (Hip): Questionable
-WR Laveranues Coles (Calf): Questionable
-WR Tim Dwight (Thigh): Questionable
-RB Cedric Houston (Knee): Questionable
-OL Trey Teague (Ankle): Questionable
-DL Dave Ball (Hand): Probable
-RB Kevan Barlow (Calf): Probable
-LB Matt Chatham (Foot): Probable
-OL Anthony Clement (Shin): Probable
-OL Pete Kendall (Thigh): Probable
-QB Chad Pennington (Calf): Probable
-S Kerry Rhodes (Thigh): Probable
-WR Brad Smith (Thigh): Probable
-DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (Knee): Probable

Detroit Lions:
-DT Shaun Cody (Toe): Out
-DT Shaun Rogers (Suspension): Out
-S Kenoy Kennedy (Foot): Out
-LB Alex Lewis (Knee): Questionable
-FB Cory Schlesinger (Hamstring): Questionable
-OL Rex Tucker (Knee): Questionable
-G Ross Verba (Hamstring): Questionable

Game time is at 1:00PM on Sunday, local TV on Fox 5 and local radio on 1050 ESPN radio and WCRN 104.3 on Long Island. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider.com after the game for a complete recap!