New York Jets (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, October 17, 2016 at 8:30PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: NYJ +7.5/ARI -7.5
Over/Under Total: 47
The New York Jets make the trip out west to face the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. The Cardinals were able to get a much-needed win in week five with a 33-21 road win over the San Francisco 49ers. They were able to win without Carson Palmer behind center and the timely victory brought them to 2-3, one win from getting to .500, as they try to rebuild from a bad start that saw them match their loss-total from all of last season. It shapes up good for them in that regard, as the Cardinals host the 1-4 New York Jets on MNF. On Sunday, the Jets lost badly to the Steelers, 33-13, suffering their third straight defeat.
Granted, beating the 49ers even at home does not signal a revival. But there were some good signs. First, they were able to come together for the big win with Drew Stanton behind center. We saw a more spirited overall performance on both sides of the ball and a focused effort from coaches and key players alike. If the game hadn't been on a Thursday, word is Carson Palmer would have started. So the following Monday should see a version of Palmer that is close to 100% after a week four concussion.
Still, up until the point he got injured, Palmer was definitely off to a rough start through four games this season. But a rough start doesn't undo the good work he's done with this franchise and one should expect to start seeing the old Cardinals offense here soon. David Johnson is developing into a steady force at running back, which should help spring loose the rest of the offense. Johnson has 457 yards on the ground and 238 through the air. He had a big two-touchdown performance against SF with two TD runs. WR Larry Fitzgerald has five touchdowns, while John Brown is coming into his own this season. This offense may not have hit the ground running this season, but those expecting that to the Arizona offense we see all season could be left grasping for straws.
The Arizona defense hasn't been all that bad, though not supported as robustly by the other side of the ball at times this season. The front-seven are tough, though they have struggled against the run at times. Still, like the offense, we might not have seen the best of this group. They've been getting some good performances, with Patrick Peterson and Marcus Cooper combining for five interceptions. Markus Golden has registered six sacks, while first-year Cardinals pass-rusher Chandler Jones has four. When this defense truly comes together, they can be a robust group.
Things have gotten off to a difficult start for a Cardinals team that many predicted would do big things this season. But at home with a chance to even the slate against a Jets' team that has looked vulnerable in spots, this should be an urgent and rested version of Arizona. And then they'll also be with Carson Palmer and this could be a time for the Cardinals to start fulfilling some of their promise.
Coming off a 10-6 season in Todd Bowles first season as head coach, the hopes were naturally high for the Jets this year and it just hasn't clicked for the most part. All of those last three defeats have in double-digits and in the middle of a back-to-back road game stretch against Pittsburgh and now Arizona, it's becoming harder and harder to identify the silver lining. The Jets need to make something happen; facing a team that also needs it and has at least righted the ship somewhat. The Jets are looking pretty rough so far in 2016.
The Jets' offense was by no means on-point, but having no turnovers on Sunday was a good development at least. Ryan Fitzpatrick was decent on the day, though a lot of drives just ended up dying. They were scoreless in the whole second half and not really in the game. Without any picks, hopefully Fitz got it out of his system after an absolutely brutal stretch. On the road against the Steelers was a tough spot and both sides of the ball suffered. A receiving crew that looked improved has been slow coming around and not having Eric Decker in there hasn't helped. Matt Forte has been hit-and-miss. Still, to think this is the offense we'll see all season could prove to be a miscalculation.
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The Jets' defense has been really good against the run and that makes sense with their line, the best part of the team. Running backs typically struggle against this group and the pass-rush is usually pretty solid, though it wasn't on Sunday against Ben Roethlisberger. But the secondary has been absolutely brutal, getting run past more often than not. Granted, Pittsburgh is going to do that to a lot of teams, especially at home. The week prior, however, they were lit up by Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, a team that had struggled putting up points this season. With Carson Palmer back in the fold with all his weapons, he figures to test this Jets' bunch.
Again, we see a potentially deceiving dichotomy developing—an almost too convenient of an argument for the Cardinals. Let's face it, they haven't been all that dependable this season. A lot of bettors waiting for the Arizona offensive explosion have been left grasping for straws this season, as they have been lethargic at times, even with Palmer behind center. This could be a spot where we see the Jets wake up a bit. I see the Jets covering the number against an Arizona team that seems a few steps from hitting their top gear.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New York Jets plus 7.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the New York Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals MNF game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!