New York Jets vs. New England Patriots: Keys to Victory
Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) makes a pass under pressure by New York Jets inside linebacker DeMario Davis (56) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Here we go again, Jets fans. The Road to MetLife Stadium continues, against our old friends. It’s round two of everyone’s favorite rivalry, as Geno and the New York Jets take on Tom, Bill and the rest of the New England Patriots from MetLife Stadium.
The Jets are coming off the loss last week here at home to Pittsburgh, while the Patriots are riding high on last week’s heroics to beat the Saints with just five seconds remaining in the game. In Tom, they will always trust.
This still isn’t the same Patriots team that we have seen in the past, despite the record. We saw that the Jets had a real shot to win the game in Foxboro earlier this year.
It looks like Rob Gronkowski has been cleared to play on Sunday as well. He hasn’t played yet in 2013, but we know how big of a threat he has been to the Jets in the past. Well, it looks like Kyle Wilson will be OK (nervous smile).
Here are some keys to victory on Sunday:
NO FREE PASSES TO THE GRONK: This goes for any receiver in the opposing color, but especially for Gronkowski. I don’t care if he is just in for obvious passing downs, or more often. He must be hit early, and he must be hit often. The guy is as strong as anybody, and runs like a deer, which is about as lethal of a combination you can have with a tight end.
The same treatment worked when it came to Tony Gonzalez two weeks ago. Yes, Gonzalez recorded receptions. However, he never got in the endzone. Why? Because the Jets mugged him every time they were hear it. That’s what the Jets have to do. Get on him and level him every single time.
RUN THAT FOOTBALL: Marty, I know it’s against your religion to run the ball, but you are going to have to do it this week. For the first time in a while, the Patriots are actually tougher against the pass than they are against the run on defense.
The Patriots are ranked 18th in the league, giving up over 118 yards per game, and over four yards per carry with 4.2. The Jets are running the ball at a 4.1 yards per carry clip. When given the opportunity, this line is getting the job done, and the holes will be there.
Vince Wilfork and Jerrod Mayo are gone. Talk about houses! Those are two houses that have been removed as obstacles to running the football against this team. Having these two guys out is a big break for the New York Jets. It’s prime time for them to take advantage of it.
Oct 13, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass during the pre game warmups for their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
LET MR. SMITH GO DOWN THE FIELD: Typically, this hasn’t been a problem for Marty Mornhinweg and company, but it did come up last week. The Jets had a very conservative game plan, and it hurt them against the Steelers. They made and effort to stay short with the passing game, and it was not the same as it had been in previous weeks.
To allow Geno Smith to make a mark, he has to do what he is good at. One thing that Geno is good at doing, just naturally, is throwing the deep ball. He has been as accurate as anyone in the league. You have to let him do that. The Patriots are 13th in the league against the pass, they can be beaten. Give your quarterback a chance.
MAKE A PLAY ON SPECIAL TEAMS: How many times does a game come down to special teams? When the Jets aren’t getting blown out by New England, all it takes is a play here and a play there. We have taken games over based on our special teams play, just never against this team.
Help out your rookie quarterback. Change the game with a blocked punt, long return…something. Make a play to make a difference.
What are your keys to victory?