Jets TakeOff! Week 7 Preview: New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
By Alan Schechter
Oct 9, 2011; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick greets New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan after the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Jets 30-21. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
It’s that time again. The Jets head up to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots tomorrow afternoon, with first place in the AFC East on the line. The Jets come in with a great deal of confidence, coming off of the total thrashing of the Colts last week, 35-9, at Met Life Stadium. The Patriots will not be in a good mood on Sunday, coming off of their last minute defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s take a look at the history between these two teams.
The series is dead even, at 51-51-1. The Patriots have won 14 of the last 18, including a sweep of the season series in 2011. The Jets last victory against the Patriots was a memorable one, the divisional playoffs in 2010, which we relived earlier this week.
Here are some keys for the Jets to have a shot:
STOP THE RUN
This is a different Patriots team than we have faced in the past. They are averaging 445 yards per game, an NFL best, which is nothing new. What is new, however, is that the Patriots are 4th in the league in RUSHING! Rushing! It’s not enough that they have the great Tom Brady, now they have a rushing attack too? It almost seems not fair, but that is what the Jets are up against.
Stevan Ridley is leading the team with 524 yards rushing, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. If Brandon Bolden is healthy enough to go on Sunday, he makes a great one-two punch for the Patriots, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The Jets have “moved up” to 28th in the league in defense against the run. It’s been a new Jets defense, 28th in the league against the rush, 6th against the pass. It will be a new gameplan for New England this week, expect a heavy dose of the run, and the Jets will have to stop it.
Oct 14, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) hands the ball off to running back Bilal Powell (29) against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Jets won 35-9. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
CONTROL THE CLOCK
No team, except maybe the Saints, is going to win a shootout against the New England Patriots. They have just too many weapons, and will eventually wear their opponents down and win the ball game by the end. The Jets are going to have to keep this game under 24 points, and that means control the clock.
It’s an interesting situation, because controlling the clock involves running the football, but the Patriots are terrible against the pass. They are ranked 28th in pass defense, which shows how vulnerable they are. Mark Sanchez has played well against New England, with 5 TDs and 0 INTs, a 116.5 rating, in the last two matchups. Shonn Greene had a career day last week, with 161 yards and 3 TDs. The running game is going well, and will be essential on Sunday. The offense will have to be on point on both sides of the football, and win the time of possession battle.
Oct 14, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) carries the ball after making a reception during the 1st half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE
WIN THE BATTLE FOR THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD
We have seen how badly the Jets have gotten killed by this team down the seams. Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Wes Welker are, and have been deadly. No matter what the Jets say, they acquired LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell in order to stop this team. There is nothing wrong with that, teams can create themselves with beating their rival in mind.
Does Brandon Lloyd scare you? How about Deion Branch? The answer, in my opinion, is no. Branch has only 4 catches, and Lloyd is averaging around 10 yards per catch, with one touchdown. The guys that rip teams apart are the guys down the seam, Hernandez, Gronkowski, and Welker. The Jets’ safeties, along with Antonio Cromartie will have their hands full tomorrow afternoon. If they can make them hear footsteps, the Jets have a chance.
GET TO TOM BRADY
The Jets need to keep in mind the blueprint they had in the 2010 playoff game. We all can’t stand to watch when Tom Brady gets back in the pocket, and has all day long, so he can do that little “Brady hop” on the balls of his feet. When he gets to sit there all day, he picks apart each and every team.
Not only do the Jets need to get to Brady, they need to get in his face, up the middle. An outside rush is not good enough. He will step up in the pocket and take the Jets down. Mo Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, and the rest of the Jets front seven needs to apply pressure up the middle. Brady gets flustered, as to most quarterbacks, when the rush is in his face. Do that, and they can get Tom off of his game. If not, it is sure to be a long day.
There are your keys for the Jets. Thanks for reading, as always.