New York Jets vs New England Patriots: Geno Smith, Stevan Ridley are two names worth remembering

New York Jets vs New England Patriots: Five Guys to keep Two Eyes on

9/12/13 in NFL   |   wsykes1   |   3 respect

  1. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Jets -- In his first professional game Richardson racked up four tackles including a sack while playing damn-near every down for the Jets against Tampa Bay last week. The 16th overall pick from Missouri received high praise from the coaching staff throughout the team’s training camp, expect more praise after playing on a national stage Thursday night. Richardson is a five-technique defensive lineman that can wreak havoc anywhere he’s placed, however against Tampa Bay he continually brought pressure up the middle as opposing offensive lines zero in on linemate Muhammad Wilkerson. Against the Bills, the Patriots offensive line didn’t allow a sack, but they did give up seven QB hits on Brady -- including four by defensive tackles. Disrupting the sure-fire Hall-of-Famer Brady’s timing, who’s shown he can be mortal when facing pressure up the middle, will be key in stopping the Patriots

  2. Rob Ninkovich, DE, Patriots -- Ninkovich has a nose for the ball, his four interceptions Nov. 13, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich (50) during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIREand 11 fumble recoveries since 2010 are proof of that. And he loves to play against the Jets. In seven career games Ninkovich has a sack, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown against Rex Ryan. He doesn’t fill up the stat sheet by any means, however he’s displayed a knack for coming up with a game-changing play when it matters most. With Belichick boasting a 12-6 record against rookie quarterbacks and the defense’s 113 takeaways since 2010, by far the most in the NFL during that time, Ninkovich will play a pivotal role rattling Smith’s cage early and often. As a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker he’ll also be asked to curb Smith’s running game (47 yards vs TB), securing the edge on any potential pistol offense plays.

  3. Stephen Hill, WR, Jets -- He’ll be out for revenge in the stadium where his biggest NFL blunder occurred -- a costly drop on third down that forced the Jets to tie the game instead of go for the go-ahead touchdown in the Jets 29-26 overtime loss last season. Revenge aside, Hill has quickly developed a connection with Smith -- targeted a team-high nine times while hauling in six passes for 39 yards last week. With Jeremy Kerley, the team’s leading receiver in 2012, out with a concussion the connection between Hill and Smith will only grow as the season progresses.

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