Many thanks to Jamie Pacheco of Musket Fire, the New England Patriots website on fansided, for sitting down with the Jet Press and answering our questions before Sunday Night’s New York Jets vs. Patriots matchup. We asked 6 questions to Jamie.
JetPress: We’ve all seen the Patriots over the past decade. Do you think the “dynasty” is over?
Musket Fire: Honestly, I think the dynasty was over when the Patriots lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl in 2007. Since then, the “old guard” have slowly but surely moved on leaving Tom Brady, Kevin Faulk, Matt Light, and Deion Branch behind. You could count Vince Wilfork as well as he was part of the Super Bowl victory over the Eagles. This is a new Patriots team and they need to try and carve out their own legacy.
JetPress: Albert Haynesworth, Ochocinco, Leigh Bodden. Did you see this coming?
Musket Fire: I wasn’t sure about Haynesworth, so his release is only shocking due to the timing. Recent news developments show that Leigh Bodden just had back surgery, so his release was likely tied to that, but I was certainly surprised when he was let go due to the state of the secondary. I must say that I am truly surprised that Chad Ochocinco hasn’t contributed more to the team. I didn’t expect numbers like what he put up with the Bengals, but I was expecting him to be a good #2 or #3 option. He hasn’t been a good #6 option up to this point, and I’m surprised he survived being cut over the bye week.
JetPress: Three game losing streak? Is this possible?
Musket Fire: Anything is possible. These aren’t your older brother’s Patriots anymore. If the defense was even in the middle of the pack, they may have just one defeat, if that. Despite Brady and the offense’s struggles, he has been able to put the team in position to win at the end of games, but the defense can’t hold up its end of the bargain for a complete game. The Jets are a tough team to right a ship against, so anything is possible.
JetPress: Will the Pats make the playoffs this year and if so, will it be by Wildcard or winning the division?
Musket Fire: It’s tough to say at this point. I do think that they will make the playoffs, but Sunday’s game will likely determine whether it will be as a division winner or a wild card team. The Pats have a favorable schedule moving forward so I don’t think they will miss the playoffs. Sunday’s game will, or at least it should, have a playoff atmosphere for both teams. It’s going to be big.
JetPress: What will it take for the Pats to win on Sunday?
Musket Fire: The Patriots need to play balanced football. They need to feature their running game and use that to set up play action, take pressure off Brady, and keep the defense on the sidelines. They also have to avoid three-and-outs. If the defense can make a few stops and the offense can control the ball, the Patriots can pull out a win.
JetPress: Prediction for game
Musket Fire: The Patriots haven’t beaten the Jets on the road since Rex Ryan took the reigns as head coach, and with a lesser team than previous years, I don’t see them getting it done this time either. It will be close, but the Jets pull out a win with a late field goal, winning 23-20.