It’s a big one this weekend, as the Jets take on their arch rivals, the New England Patriots, from MetLife on Sunday. This one has a history of being brutal, especially in recent years.
There have been a lot of blowouts in the second game against the Patriots, and none of them have been in our favor. There was the game the week Jim Leonhard was lost of the season, 45-3 Patriots. The second game has never been close, especially during the Rex era.
For all of the time we have played this team close in the first game, or beaten them, as was the case in 2009, that is how bad we played in the second game. It all culminated Thanksgiving of 2012, with the game we all couldn’t wait to forget. Three straight fumbles, the last one being a butt-fumble.
Bad things happen when the Jets play the Patriots for the second time, and they are back at the scene of the aforementioned “butt-fumble”.
Well, on one hand, the two participants in the now infamous play are not on the football field, either due to injury (Sanchez), or retirement (Moore). But, a fair portion of this roster has been here.
So, can this year be any different? The answer is absolutely YES! It will take an A+ effort all around, but they can get it done.
First look at the defense. When the Jets have been successful against the New England Patriots, how have they done it? With pressure in Tom Brady’s face. In the recent pass, they have gotten there with a steady diet of Mo Wilkerson. Well now, they have a full front four that can get to the quarterback, and get there consistently.
A key to turning this around will be all of them getting to the quarterback, Wilkerson, Richardson, Ellis, and Harrison. The only way to get Tom Brady off of his game is to get in his face from opening whistle to final gun. Finally, the Jets have the personnel to do that, and to do it effectively.
On offense, the Jets finally have the quarterback that, if given the chance, can gash the New England defense the way it should be gashed. Put your eyes back in your head, it is me, admitting that Mark Sanchez was not the guy to do it. Geno Smith, with his ability to go down the field with the football, is EXACTLY the guy to do it.
The Jets must have an aggressive gameplan on Sunday, and let Geno do his thing. He might make some mistakes, but don’t handcuff him, by making him hand the ball off and throw only short passes. Attack this Patriots’ defense, it can be beaten.
Sunday we return to the scene of the “Butt-fumble”. The Jets can avenge that play of despair, but it will take a big effort, and all hands on deck to get it done.