Friday, September 25, 2009

Rex & Mex: NY's Newest Heartthrobs

You've probably heard how desperate the Titans are for a win after getting nipped by a combined six points in each of their first two contests. You've also no doubt been made aware of the 'swagger' Rex Ryan has brought to a previously vanilla Jet defense. One tidbit that'll be mentioned during the broadcast is the link between the head coaches of both teams, as Jeff Fisher began his coaching career under Buddy Ryan's wing in Chicago and Rex Ryan is, well, Buddy's son.

A quarterback comparison shouldn't be surprising either, as you have seasoned vet Kerry Collins' emotional return to the Meadowlands, where he used to fumble snaps at a record setting pace but enjoyed some great seasons with the G-men and of course, rookie Mark Sanchez's third career start after two solid games. Both quarterbacks will operate under similar gameplans that involve tossing screens to their respective play-making backs, Chris Johnson and Leon Washington, though Kerry still has a cannon and may test the Jets' secondary in one-on-one coverage, especially if the Titans pick up the Jets' blitz. But considering how uncomfortable Tom Brady was in the face of the Jets' myriad of blitzes and coverages -Rex picked up his dad's practice of constantly rotating defensive backs- how will Collins respond, especially after struggling against Rex's Ravens in last year's Divisional Playoff game?

As for Sanchez, can he keep threading needles on third down to tight end Dustin Keller and receivers Jericho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey, often relying on tough YAC to move the chains? It's just two games, but Sanchez has shown the ability to slide around the pocket, much like Ben Roethlisberger -the QB who can make the most out of any broken play- and Tony Romo, but his play fakes need a lot of work -he should practice breaking hearts when he goes out about town.

So will the Rex and Mex train keep rolling or get derailed by they testy Titans? I don't buy the match as a 'letdown' game for the Jets, because as cathartic as last week's victory over New England was, the Titans aren't some chump squad to be overlooked. They were the best team in the AFC last year and still feature plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. They can win on their own merit, but not this week. J! E! T! S! JETS! JETS! JETS!

***Added Bonus*** Our pal Al K. Mza will be checking in from time to time with recipes for treats during Sunday action. If you ask him now, he's starving. Here's his first contribution:

Going with the green theme of green shoots, green economy and gang green. Fall is still around and before we stuff ourselves with wings and beer, the following recipe is a literal gutcheck.

Cucumber sandwich
take cucumber. slice.
place on buttered toast.

fancy version -- add sliced tomatoes.
foodies version -- israeli cucumber and heirloom tomatoes, irish butter, and mint leaves (still can make about 20 sandwiches for less than $10!)