The New York Jets are set to take on the New England Patriots in Week 7 and will be tasked with defending one of the best offensive weapons in the division. Here is what they could do to limit Julian Edelman’s impact.
The New York Jets are coming off a win at home against the Dallas Cowboys and are getting ready to take on the New England Patriots at home for Monday Night Football. While the Jets usually get the 1:00 kickoff on Sunday, the primetime, national TV spot makes me nervous.
Aside from taking on the Super Bowl favorite Patriots, the Jets usually don’t do well when all eyes are on them. With that being said, the Jets defense has their hands full defending Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s offense.
Within the Patriots offense is the defending Super Bowl MVP, Julian Edelman. Edelman has proved as a veteran to be one of the toughest guys to defend in the league.
It isn’t his size, or strength but rather a work ethic and dedication to training that Edelman has some of the best feet in the NFL. Besides his elusiveness, Edelman is one of the toughest players in the league.
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Coming off of a win against the New York Giants, the Pats offense struggled and relied on Edelman to make big plays down the stretch.
One of the toughest things when defending Edelman is keeping him in check in the first and second level. Given his height, Edelman really isn’t much of a jump ball threat down the field all that often.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels leaves that for guys like Josh Gordon. Brady relies on Edelman on crossing and choice routes where he finds open areas within the defense.
It was on this play, that Edelman caught the Giants secondary sitting too close to the line of scrimmage, and used his quickness to scoot right on by the Safety.
Against the Patriots, the Jets have to keep players like Edelman under and prohibit breakdowns where he can burn upfield on a route he rarely runs.
When playing the Patriots, most of the time it comes down to disrupting. It’s whether the defense can interfere and disrupt the harmony that is Brady’s offense when it’s untouched.
When you can defend players like Edelman and keep them in check under the safety, it then becomes extremely possible to throw the offense off. Edelman is Brady’s number one check-down — always available if the downfield throw isn’t open.
If the Jets can eliminate one of Brady’s sure-fire targets over the past decade, I think they will have a solid chance to create a mess and win this one.
Video: Julian Edelman says being limited to one personnel grouping is a reflection of how football is a game of adversity. He said it wasn’t as pretty as the Patriots wanted, and they need to do more to hold up their end of the bargain. pic.twitter.com/JH0AQzqJV5
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 11, 2019
On Monday night, the Jets defense is going to have to take the same approach as the Giants and try to throw the flow of the Patriots’ offense off.
The Giants threw Brady off, but their offense couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities. It all starts with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye taking care of Edelman to defend the Patriots offense.
Once that happens, the Jets defense can start to disrupt and get in the way of Brady’s offense running in that harmony that is so hard to watch as an opposing fan.