The Detroit Lions (2-1) travel to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey to take on the New York Jets (1-2) on Sunday. The two teams play at 1:00 PM ET.
Jets quarterback Geno Smith is still thought of as a franchise player. However, he has struggled up to this point in time. This season, he has completed 63.1 percent of his passes fro 713 yards. He has also struggled with turnovers. Smith has thrown four interceptions, but only three touchdowns.
"Here's why I believe so much that Geno will improve: I've seen him improve," head coach Rex Ryan added. "I've seen him make huge improvements, from where he was last year and from how he progressed through the season, where he's at. But I'll say this: I think he's going to continue to improve. I truly believe that."
This week, coach Ryan hinted that Chris Ivory was due to carry the ball more often than Chris Johnson. Ivory has ran the ball 33 times this season for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
"Maybe Chris Ivory will get more time because he's certainly running hard, he's doing a great job out of the backfield and there's not a whole lot of guys that want to tackle him," Ryan said.
The top receiver on the Jets, Eric Decker, indicated that he may receive less plays than usual. This season, he has caught the ball 10 times for 156 yards and only one touchdown.
Matthew Stafford will take the snaps once again for the Lions. The franchise quarterback has been par, but the turnovers seem to be an issue. Stafford has thrown three touchdowns along with three interceptions. He has a 62.3 completion rate and has passed the ball for 883 yards.
The Jets have a "banged up" secondary, which will provide wide out Calvin Johnson with a huge advantage to add on to his impressive season. Johnson has caught 19 passes for 392 yards and has brought in two touchdowns. He has averaged 17.3 yards per reception.
The run game must improve for the Lions. The starting running back, Reggie Bush, has struggled this season. He has carried the ball 27 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. His backup, Joique Bell, has rushed the ball 40 times for only 120 yards and a touchdown. It has not been pretty for Detroit when they run the ball.
Last game, starting middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch suffered a season-ending knee injury celebrating a sack. DeAndre Levy, who has a team-best 27 tackles, and Tahir Whitehead are now charged with filling that void and leading a defense that has yielded an NFL-best 244.3 yards per game and 2.8 yards per rush.
"To the team in general it's a great loss because (Tulloch) is the leader of the defense," said Whitehead, who will play middle linebacker. "Personally I consider Tully a brother to me, and when I heard the news I was really hurt because I was praying that it wasn't as serious as they were saying initially. And then I came in (Monday) and it was just heartbreaking."
Passing: Matthew Stafford - 71-114, 883 yds, 3 tds
Rushing: Joique Bell - 40 car, 120 yds, 1 td
Receiving: Calvin Johnson - 19 rec, 329 yds, 2 tds
NY Jets Leaders
Passing: Geno Smith - 65-103, 713 yds, 3 tds
Rushing: Chris Ivory - 33 car, 190 yds, 2 tds
Receiving: Eric Decker - 10 rec, 156 yds, 1 td