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The Jets Try to Change the Story Against the Cards

Arizona gives the Jets a chance to smile

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Sanchez should be able to put something better on film this time around.

    When the Jets take the field on Sunday, it will be 10 days since their Thanksgiving debacle against the Patriots. 

    Yet it still feels like hours since Mark Sanchez provided some serious fodder for NFL Films with his sprint into Brandon Moore's hindquarters. Perhaps that's because of how easy it is to dial up the video of that moment, but the Jets could still really use some different images to pull attention away from that dreadful 49-19 loss. 

    Enter the Cardinals, a team stuck in such a deep rut right now that they qualify as the NFL equivalent of a Homecoming opponent. The Jets got exactly what they needed from the scheduling gods this week. 

    Rookie Ryan Lindley will make his second career start and his first was a debacle. Rex Ryan may have lost a good deal of his mojo this season, but he's still capable of putting together a defensive plan to stop a rookie who was eaten up by a Rams team that Sanchez carved up the week before. 

    The Cardinals defense is pretty good, but they will wilt from overuse thanks to Lindley. That makes them the perfect opponent for the Jets to keep things simple by pounding away with Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell. 

    A nice, easy game with limited chances for disaster is exactly what the offense needs after their freak show of a performance against the Patriots. 

    There also shouldn't be any Tim Tebow drama to distract from the on-field performance. Reports are that Tebow won't dress as a result of the cracked ribs that kept him anchored to the sideline in uniform last weekend. 

    All of this is only true if the Jets win, of course. If they lose to this Cardinals team on their home field, they'll be longing for the day when Sanchez's follies were around to make people at least smile through their tears. 

    Hopefully that thin line will be enough for Ryan to refrain from making any comments about the Jets having four winnable games left with 9-7 a possibility in a victorious postgame press conference. Changing the story in the short term is great, but it won't change the big picture of the season all by itself. 

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.