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Sunday, November 18, 2012
Video: Breaking down Jets-Rams matchups

By Mike Sando

Rich Cimini, who covers the New York Jets for ESPNNewYork.com, breaks down the team's key matchups against the St. Louis Rams in the accompanying video.

I agree with Cimini's contention that the Jets, having recently lost slot corner Isaiah Trufant to a knee injury, appear poorly equipped to defend Rams receiver Danny Amendola.

Another matchup Cimini highlights -- Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez against the Rams' secondary -- is one I see as pivotal to how the game plays out. The Rams have zero interceptions in their past five games after collecting eight of them during their 2-2 start.

Rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins started quickly, but he was struggling before serving a one-game team suspension for violating team rules. I think the Rams need and will probably get a strong game from top cornerback Cortland Finnegan. He's been too consistently good to go much longer without forcing a turnover or otherwise making a game-turning play. The Rams' front four figures to pressure Sanchez into a couple mistakes. It's up to Finnegan and the secondary to capitalize on them.

Cimini did not mention Jason Smith, the offensive tackle St. Louis traded to the Jets before the regular season. Cimini's teammate on the Jets' blog, Jane McManus, checked in with Smith recently. Smith is not starting for the Jets. He serves as an extra tight end when the team needs another blocker.