Today is the day that we’ve been waiting for! The Jets have put in a lot of work and money into developing this team which was designed for one reason… beat the Pats! They’ve gone after a pass rush with Gholston & Pace in addition to Bryan Thomas to create havoc in the Patriot backfield regardless of who is undercenter. They’ve added Kris Jenkins in the middle to draw a constant double team to free up the linebackers to make plays. Dwight “Swipe” Lowery is looking like another fourth round steal and will be a key contributor to a secondary that will be focused on keeping Randy Moss in front of them all game long. On offense they are counting on Faneca, Woody and Tony Richardson to help wear down the Pats huge front 7 that in years past have wore us down. Of course, the addition of Brett Favre will force the Patriots secondary to think twice about cheating up as well.
Now that all the pieces are in place, the Jets staff needs to predict what Belicheck will do now that Matt Cassell is at the helm. Here are my thoughts:
The Patriots lost the Superbowl last year because for the first time in recent history I thought they failed to make any adjustments. If you look at the Patriot teams of the past, they out schemed their opponents. (Out Schemed is the nice way of saying they stole the defensive signals and ran a play to beat it). Regardless of going back to spygate, the Pats had no shame in their game! If the oppositions pass rush was heavy, they used a heavy dose of screen passes to back them off. If the opposition was dropping guys, the Pats were running draws at nauseam. This wasn’t the case in the Superbowl. They continued their big F-U to the league and said they were going to continue to leave Tom Brady back there on an island and beat the Giants throwing the ball down field… how’d that work out Bill?
I don’t expect that to happen today. The Pats are going to expect some pressure from the Jets and my guess is they will go back to the horizontal game that has worked for them in the past… I’m looking for a heavy dose of screens, quick slants and draws for a majority of the game. While I do expect the Pats to take some early chances to Moss, I would be shocked if they let Matt Cassell let it loose all game. Maroney and Morris will be the keys… they need to treat them like the Ricky and Ronnie combo from last week!
Offensively, as much as I hate to say it, they need to come out throwing the ball. My basic philosophy in football is to establish the run to set up the pass, but against the Pats front 7, I think the way to beat them is the opposite… chuck it on first down, and then pound ‘em on 2nd! With the lack of speed that the Patriots have in the linebacking corps, I’m expecting more Leon Washington on the edge this game. In Week 1, Dwayne Bowe was constantly open in that New England secondary. The Jets should attack early and often which should loosen the front up for Thomas Jones and the running game in the second half.
This game is no cake walk without Tom Brady. The Pats have always seemed to play better under adversity. The Jets need to hit ‘em in the mouth early and keep the pressure on throughout. The key in this one will be Time of possession. The Pats will try to play keep away! With that said, I still think the Jets need to be aggressive in their play calling. There is no way we can have this game come down to the foot of newly acquired Jay Feely. The Jets need to keep their foot on the gas all game long. This is as big of a statement game as they will have all year. No one will consider them a legitimate threat unless they take down the Pats in the Meadowlands!
My outlook is that the Jets will make a point! I expect high energy from beginning to end as the Jets unleash years of frustration and take this one down 27-17 in a game that will look more dominating than the score would reveal!
Now to the Bets! We lost 10 pieces of Cheddar last week with a 1-1 finish. I had a 3-1 day in College yesterday highlighted by Penn State, Notre Dame, and UConn! Let’s hope that follows over into the NFL today!!!
25 Slices of American Carolina -3
That’s right, I don’t believe in Kyle Orton. The Panthers won’t have to commit 9 in the box to stop Matt Forte so Orton won’t have a man open all night the way he did last week. The Panthers offensive line is massive and they should be able to establish at least some essence of a running game unlike the Colts did last week. The Panthers should be riding high after last’s weeks win, and I’m expecting their confidence to continue to grow with a healthy Jake Delhomme under center!
20 Crumbles of Blue Cheese Kansas City -3.5
News flash! Al Davis is designing the Raiders defense! Lane Kiffen said he has no part in the Raider’s D and the Black and Silver were just destroyed in their home opener. This will get worse before it gets better! Couple that with a Kansas City team that grabbed some serious confidence going toe-to-toe with the Pats and I’m expecting a double digit victory for the Chiefs in their home opener!
Good Luck and GO JETS BABY!!!