Pre-Game Meal: New York Jets 2.0

It has to be all about overpowering the line of scrimmage for the Patriots tonight.

NEPD Staff Writer B. Delabarrera

With only 5 games left in the regular season, three against AFC East teams, Bill Belichick and the Patriots look to elongate their winning streak and put and stay in contention for the AFC crown, the No. 1 spot in the East, and home-field advantage. The journey begins with New England (9-2) to seeking revenge for their early season loss when the arch-nemesis New York Jets (9-2) visit Foxboro.

The league has deemed this one the Game of the Year, and really, who’s can say any different? Apparently, due to their recent success and only 2 losses this season, these recently “mature” Jets are holding their tongues and preparing for just another game.

In Bart Scott’s best Patriot impression even he told reporters, “We talked enough for two seasons. Now it’s time to show people. That’s what we intend to do. All the talking ain’t going to help us get no first downs.” But don’t let the politically-correctness fool you… we know very well what this team is really about.

All of the experts are discussing Monday night’s game and trying to determine which team needs it more. Let me try and shine a different light on the matter and give you my perspective: with one MNF win at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady steps in front of Brett Favre as the quarterback with the most consecutive home wins (25). Knowing what kind of competitor Brady is (and what it means for a QB to break a Favre record), I expect nothing other than a failure on the part of #12 himself or a complete lapse in the defense to keep Brady neck-and-neck with Favre in that category.

For those who tend to side with the New Yorkers here, don’t take the magical play of Santonio Holmes for granted; for without him they would currently be at 7-4… that’s neither here nor there though…

(Blogger’s Note: words cannot express the joyus feelings that accompany this next statistic: In his last three consecutive losses, Peyton Manning has thrown 8 TDs & 11 INTs)

Bill Belichick vs. The O-Line That Could – For the past week coach Belichick has probably been brewing up a batch of pressure schemes to send at one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. To mention the Jets at 9-2 and not give credit to the men who keep blitzers away from young Sanchise and move bodies aside for LT would be blasphemous. The correct mixture of pressure and disguise is all it takes to suck the life out of an offense.

Center Nick Mangold and company have been playing their best on the road too, only allowing 5 of Mark Sanchez’s 19 sacks to be recorded away from New Jersey. The biggest part of Monday’s defensive game plan has to be keeping a leash on LaDanian Tomlinson; if he starts breaking off first downs or even five-yard chunks, the Patriots may have a tough time hanging on. LT’s 741 rushing yards and 5 scores is a testament to his longevity as an NFL back and a big “statement” to Norv Turner and the Chargers.

It’s going to be crucial for players like Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, and, in the worst-case scenario, Patrick Chung to make strong, quick tackles to remind him that elusiveness inversely relates to age. Without the same presence as in 2009, RB Shonn Greene has been somewhat of a disappointment for Jets fans but that doesn’t mean the defense can take plays off when he checks in. The Jets are a team that builds off of momentum and it will take a unified effort from the Patriots to bend without breaking against them.

Mark vs. Tom – Yes, that was a Blink-182 reference as well as the names of two men who will be battling several times per year against one another. The Mark Sanchez vs. Tom Brady quarterback battle is no where near the level of “mano a mano” yet, though, it’s more like “Master vs. Apprentice” right now. Here are the stats as they stand on Sanchez: 2,472 yds, 16 TDs, and 8 INTs with a completion percentage of about 55% (57.6% in away games).

It’s important to note that all of his interceptions have come in the last 6 games. After three 300-yard games against lousy defenses including Houston and Detriot, Mark Sanchez was held to a sub-par, or at least average, performance against a suspect Cincinnati secondary last week. We know that most of his heroics comes from plays where his line buys him precious extra seconds or he scrambles to find a receiver who breaks loose. Except that now that Devin McCourty has elevated his level of play, the Patriots can arrange for more defenders to get in to coverage schemes that can prevent those kinds of plays from happening if McCourty can contain WR Braylon Edwards. New England can also maintain order when New York has the ball by sacrificing a safety to keep watch over TE Dustin Keller (5 TDs), a trusted target of Sanchez’s. Limiting Keller’s touches will restrain the Jets’ scoring efforts.

Tom Brady, on the other hand, has just been on fire the past few weeks. I’m going to do my best to refrain from any jinxing statements from here on out… While keeping a passer rating of 105.8, Brady has passed for 2,703 yds, 23 TDs (T-1st prior to this week), and 4 INTs. He has only been sacked 5 times at home this season where he has been completing 68.4% of his passes. His distribution of the football has been magnificent thus far; almost every starter has a couple hundred yards receiving and several touchdowns. Game-planning against this Patriots team will require some digging in the film cabinet back to the glory days in the early 2000’s.

Because of the Jets’ ability to defend the vertical pass so efficiently, expect to see a lot of crossing routes and receivers being put in motion; confusing the pathways of the wide receivers will pose more of a challenge to the Jim Leonard-less Jets secondary than bombs down the sideline will. Antonio Cromartie joins LT on the list of the Chargers reborn on the Jets as he leads their defense with 15 passes defended and 5 INTs. Tom Brady knows this DB very well and won’t be too keen on sending risky passes his way; it’s not like passing towards Darelle Revis is any kind of relief either. Therefore, the more the Patriots’ routes intersect the better. We’re gonna need a whole heaping helping of Gronk too.

Game of the Year Wild Card List:

NE – Danny Woodhead: Because I’m only picking one for each team, I have to go with the most obvious. Does anyone else feel like the “little guy” wants to showboat around his new turf against the team that couldn’t find a spot for him? Me too. Woodhead has taken over the role of bailing out the offense on situations where first downs are hard to come by, and done a good job at that. With 4 TDs to his name, whether it be on the ground or in the air, Danny Woodhead has made a great impression every time he touches the ball. That dark tomb of Belichikian play have to include some special ones for “Woody” this week.

NYJ – Santonio Holmes: In recent weeks Holmes has really increased in production and scored game-winning touchdowns on several occasions. He is a quick route runner and deadly if he sees open field. Santonio adds a scary touch to the Jets offense because he is always capable of that big play. Just when things seem to be going sour, he’s the guy that has been bailing them out. It would be wise for defenders to stay mindful of that #10.

I wouldn’t wanna be wearing green tonight…

-B.DelaBarrera

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One Response to “Pre-Game Meal: New York Jets 2.0”

  1. Prince says:

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