Well it’s rivalry week for the Patriots as they face the Jets this week on MNF. And as you all know this is a big one! Winner of this game will be atop the AFC East at 10-2. The loser will still have high hopes and a good chance at the playoffs, but obviously that is not what the Patriots are going for. This win will not only put them in 1st in the East, but would most likely solidify the Patriots as the best team in football. Obviously this is a big game and I do expect big things from this hot Patriots team.
This game is different than most others for the Patriots. Rex Ryan leads his team much differently than other coaches in the league. He is a huge defensive guy and he handles all the defensive play calls for the Jets. His main goal of the game will be getting to Tom Brady as often as possible and putting him on the ground any chance he gets. Ryan loves to mix up defensive packages and blitz frequently. He is known for bringing the house play after play. Now, to avoid this pressure, Brady is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly in most circumstances. That is one thing Brady is particularly good at. This too, is where Wes Welker comes into play. Welker is the biggest target Brady has and is just as equally most important. Welker is one of the best in the league at getting open right at the snap for short pass plays. He will be a huge help towards Brady avoiding these blitzes. As for the rest of the offense, everyone has contributed and has been playing well. I do not expect much from the running game considering the Jets have one of the best run defenses in the league. Benjarvus will not do too much aside from maybe scoring another touchdown. On top of that he probably will not see more than 12 carries. The Patriots will be throwing often and most of the receiving corps should see a lot of action. Rob Gronkowski has been a big target for Brady lately, and also Deion Branch is coming off a big performance last week. Danny Woodhead has been a solid filler for plays when Brady gets into trouble and has also been effective on screen plays. These guys are going to have to continue their solid play to help Brady out this week. The Patriots will also have to try for a big play every once in awhile just to try and slow down the Jets’ blitzing defense. Some other options they have are running some HB draws to either RB and also some quick WR screens for quick gains. This will be a tough offensive game for the Patriots, but I assume they will be well prepared for it and am guessing they will run a lot of quick passes to avoid the blitzes.
As for the defense, they should try and mirror the strategy of the Jets. Mark Sanchez does not even compare to how good Brady is under pressure in quick situations and if you want to get in his head, they should blitz and put him on the ground every opportunity they get. Make him worry that every snap he takes, he is going to get sacked. If he worries all game, he won’t be confident and will end up trying to force throws to make a play. Once Sanchez throws his first pick, the Patriots will gain all the momentum and hopefully ride it out throughout the game. Other than Sanchez, the Jets have a solid run game, but they don’t utilize it as much as they should. LT has been struggling lately and Shonn Greene has not gotten enough carries to really show off his talent. The Jets will run the ball 25 times or so and will run well, and there is not a lot the Pats defense can do to stop that. That is not necessarily a bad thing consider the Jets should be running the ball between those two backs at least 35 times. The Patriots biggest concern is shutting down Sanchez which I think they will be able to do.
I cannot wait for this game on Monday Night Football. It should be one of the best games of the season. I am expecting big things from this Patriots team, and frankly I think the Jets are a bit overrated. I see the Patriots edging this one out 24-20. Giddyup Pats.
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Written by David Reid