THE GAME: The Jets (1-4) at the Arizona Cardinals (2-3) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday, Oct. 17, 8:30 p.m. ET.
THE WEATHER: The stadium has a retractable roof, so it may not matter, but the forecast calls for temperatures around 90 during the day and dropping into the 60s -- pretty typical for the desert this time of year. No rain or wind either, not surprisingly.
WHAT IT MEANS: I don't know if it means anything anymore because the Jets are pretty much done at 1-4, but at 1-5 maybe even Brandon Marshall will believe it. Remember, it's going to take a record of 9-7 to get into the playoffs, maybe even 10-6. If the Jets lose this and fall to 1-5 … well, does anyone think they'd be capable of finishing on an 8-2 run? Right, Brandon Marshall. I mean besides him.
PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Quincy Enunwa. It's his ballgame now. Eric Decker is going to have shoulder surgery and won't be back until next season, which means Enunwa is the unquestioned No. 2 receiver and the man responsible for taking some of the heat off Marshall. So far he's been a decent receiver this season, but it's obvious he's not really worrying anyone given all the attention Marshall is receiving from opposing defenses. If Enunwa can even do a little of what Decker did, Marshall's life will become a lot easier and the Jets won't have to rely on one of their rookies to emerge as a third option.
So far Enunwa has 27 catches, which is good, but only 294 receiving yards, which isn't (10.9 yards per catch). He also only has one touchdown, meaning he hasn't emerged as anything near the red-zone threat that Decker once was. Yeah, those are big shoes to fill and a lot of expectations heaped on the 24-year-old receiver. But if he doesn't come through, the Jets offense might not have much of a chance of turning things around.
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MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cardinals RB David Johnson against Jets LBs David Harris and Darron Lee. The Jets have the NFL's second-ranked run defense, allowing just 68.4 yards per game, which is due partially to the strong play of their defensive line (against the run) and the fact that teams prefer to throw on the Jets because their pass defense has been awful. Johnson, though, might be the best running back they've faced and he's certainly the best dual-threat running back they've seen. That's why Harris (if he plays) and Lee are key, because Johnson is dangerous when he gets through the initial wall of tacklers and really dangerous in space as a receiver.
Containing Johnson will require a lot of sideline-to-sideline running for the Jets' best linebackers and some great open-field tackling. It's on all the linebackers to do that, obviously, but Harris is the best they have and Lee's speed could be invaluable against the Cardinals' most dangerous player.
INJURY REPORT: The loss of LB David Harris (hamstring) could be significant, though the extra day has given the Jets some hope that he'll play. It seems to have worked for C Nick Mangold (knee) and CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), who both returned to practice on Friday in a limited fashion. Revis may still be a game-time decision, but he's hopeful. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins was also limited Friday with an ankle injury. That doesn't change much for the Jets, though they were hoping he would slowly have an increased presence in their passing attack. … As for the Cardinals, getting QB Carson Palmer back from his concussion is their most significant injury-related item. They are also keeping an eye on the status of left guard Mike Iupati's ankle.
THE PICK: Look at the bright side: After this game the Jets get the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins and Rams before their bye. All of those are winnable games. This one? I know the Cardinals have struggled, but there's a reason they were such a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl this season. They have a very strong defense and on offense they are loaded with weapons, including Johnson and the ageless Larry Fitzgerald at receiver. Granted they've underachieved offensively and quarterback Carson Palmer has been a little erratic, but the Jets' porous secondary should be just what the Cardinals' offense needs to get going in the right direction.
Besides, the Jets have just about everything working against them. Eric Decker is out and their offense is out of sync, Darrelle Revis is hurting and the defense has been underachieving. Their confidence and mood are down and now they have to take a long, cross-country flight. The way the Jets are playing it's just hard to see them beating a good team with talented skill players right now. Even last week, they hung with the Steelers a little and then just wore down. This game is likely to look very similar. Then maybe next week the Jets can start to turn things around. … Cardinals 27, Jets 14.
MY RECORD: 3-2.