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Game Scout: Saints-Jets

The SportsXchange

New Orleans Saints (6-1) at New York Jets (4-4)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. - TV: FOX

*TV announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch

*Keys to the game: Hair and curse words will be as plentiful as blitz packages in a family affair in New York pitting Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan against Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Rob could have his best chance to beat Rex, who is 4-0 when their teams meet in the NFL. Coach Sean Payton, who knows both well, said the team that wins the turnover battle holds a huge advantage Sunday. The Saints, 27-1 under Payton when they're turnover-free, are struggling to run the ball consistently. The Jets lead the league in rushing defense -- an average of 77.9 yards per game -- but going to the air isn't entirely safe (25 sacks). Rob Ryan will bring it to make rookie QB Geno Smith get rid of the ball before he has time to throw downfield, where his accuracy and timing are far better than on underneath throws requiring touch. The Saints have 24 sacks of their own and the Jets have allowed 29.

*Matchup to watch - Saints offensive line vs. Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson -- For the second straight week the Saints will go against one of the league's premier pass-rushing ends in Wilkerson after facing the Bills' Mario Williams. Wilkerson has 7.0 sacks and the Saints have allowed 18.

*Player spotlight - Jets RB Chris Ivory: To preserve Smith and protect against a 50-pass game plan that invites turnovers, the Jets will roll with Ivory and Bilal Powell in an attempt to steamroll the blitzes out of the Saints. Ivory, a former undrafted free agent who spent his first three NFL seasons with the Saints, had his first 100-yard game with the Jets last week.

*Fast facts: The Jets are minus-12 in turnover margin, the Saints are plus-8. ... Saints TE Jimmy Graham has 236 receptions and 31 touchdowns since 2011, tops among all NFL tight ends.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Jets are short on big-play threats and the inability to match up with the Saints receivers beyond their lead CB Antonio Cromartie keeps the revolving scoring door wide open for Drew Brees.

*Our pick: Saints 24-16
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