The Patriots are hosting their rival Jets this week in what should be a pretty solid matchup. The Jets come into the game with a 2-2 record while the Pats are 3-1. The Jets are coming off 2 straight losses and have looked pretty bad in those games. Their offense looks terrible and while their defense ranks in the top 10 overall. There are a few things the Pats have to do this game in order to win. Let’s start with their defense.
The Patriots come into this game ranked DEAD LAST against the pass. Good thing they’re playing against Mark Sanchez, coming off his worst career performance. But if the Patriots want to succeed on defense they’ll have to shut down Sanchez which should be pretty easy to do. Bring the noise often. The Patriots need to blitz as much as they can to force Sanchez to turn the ball over, which he will. He fumbled the ball 4 times last week losing 3 of them. When Sanchez is pressured, he cannot make plays and always looks terrible. The only time he shines is when there’s no pressure and he sits back in the pocket. The Patriots need to take advantage of this and get to Sanchez early. The biggest difference between this week and the last two, is that the Jets will have starting center Nick Mangold back in the lineup. Another negative factor here for the Pats is that they will be without last year’s leading tackler Jerod Mayo, who is out with a sprained MCL and will likely miss 6 weeks.
As for the Patriots offense, they have been high flying all season long throwing the ball majority of the time. The biggest problem here is that the Jets rank 2nd against the pass. The good news is that they’re 27th against the rush. Keeping this in mind the Patriots should run the ball a lot, which will open up the pass attack and give the Patriots a lot of opportunities to run play-action. The Pats have good RBs and need to use them. They are completely undervalued and could come up big with this favorable matchup. Now that Stevan Ridley has shown he can ball, he should be given some more opportunities again this week to showcase his talents.
The Patriots cannot stop the pass, the Jets cannot stop the run, but the Jets cannot pass the ball, and the Patriots do not really run. If the Pats are going to win this game, they will have to run the ball; a lot. I want to see a combined 40 rushes which can open up the playbook and definitely pick the defense off running some play-action plays. Defensively, the Patriots will have to get at Mark Sanchez often and pressure him as much as possible. Last year, the Jets were a running team. However, this year Greene and LT are combined rushing for about 3 yards per carry. I say not to worry about the run and just get at that QB of theirs.
This should be an interesting game. I am really curious to see if the Pats will take advantage of their matchups and run the ball, or if they’re still going to pass as they always have. I think the Patriots are a better team and can ultimately win; they’ll just need to exploit what the Jets are giving them. I expect a 27-20 victory for the Pats.
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Written by David Reid