New York Jets Ready to Compete With Patriots Again: Enemy Week

Tom Brady Patriots Jets

The Jets will have their work cut out for them as long as Tom Brady is under center. (Photo: US Presswire)

Guest Editor: Ryan Alfieri (

For the first time in the Rex Ryan era, the Jets were unable to beat the Patriots even one time last season.

Let’s be honest: losing to Rex Ryan’s Jets makes Patriots fans sick to their stomach, more so than losing to the Bills or Dolphins. Just the sight of Mark Sanchez throwing up his finger in celebration causes nausea.

While there is certainly a lot more question marks surrounding the Jets than the Patriots at this point, the Jets still have all of the talent and coaching necessary to usurp the Patriots as the top dogs in the AFC East, and here’s why:

Quinton Coples

Contrary to popular belief, the addition of Quinton Coples could be enough to put the Jets back in the playoffs. In my opinion, Coples was selected specifically to get after Tom Brady.

Why Brady? Coples, having played defensive tackle in his junior season at UNC, has plenty of ability as an interior pass-rusher. As we saw in Super Bowl 46, the best way to disrupt Tom Brady (and any elite quarterback for that matter) is to get pressure up the middle, where Brady cannot step up and make throws.

Assuming the Jets can replicate their coverage ability from last year (with Darrelle Revis back in the fold, there is no reason why they can’t), just a pulse of a pass-rush will make a world of a difference for the Jets.

No more Eric Smith

While LaRon Landry is not an ideal coverage man, he is at least better than Eric Smith, who was perhaps the Jets’ worst defender last year at free safety.

Dealing with the Patriots’ small army of tight ends is always a challenge, but at least the Jets now have a player that can match up physically with tight ends, which has become the focal point of the Patriosts offense.

Brandon Lloyd Will Have Minimal Impact

Arguably the biggest acquisition of the Patriots, Brandon Lloyd’s presence will hardly make a difference on the field. Assuming Darrelle Revis takes away Wes Welker, Cromartie should have little problem dealing with the deep threat receiver on his own.

Since coming to the Jets, Cromartie has developed nicely as a man-coverage corner. All he needs is a hint of safety help to deal with receivers of Lloyd’s caliber.

Besides, any passes that go to Lloyd are one less pass going to Gronk or Hernandez, which the Jets definitely consider as a good thing. The Jets will take the matchup between Lloyd and Cromartie over Gronk and the Jets’ safeties and linebackers.

Stephen Hill’s Downfield Threat

Shifting our attention to the other side of the ball, Hill has the ability to make the Jets’ otherwise-bland offense exponentially more explosive, which is not exactly a term I would use to describe the Jets’ offense in 2011.

While he may have limited experience running routes in a pro-style offense, Hill is gifted enough to overpower and, most importantly, outrun the second and third corners on the Patriots’ roster.

If Hill can just be a threat as a deep receiver, which is something Plaxico Burress could not, it will open things up for Santonio Holmes and Keller underneath. In addition, it will take an extra man out of the box, thus opening up the running game, which is clearly a priority for the Jets this year.

Jeff Otah

The recent trade for Jeff Otah could be a huge game-changer in the Jets’ favor. Assuming Otah is able to stay healthy – a big if – this Jets offensive line will look a lot more like the unit that got them to two-straight AFC Championship games than the version that crumbled with Wayne Hunter at the helm.

If the Jets’ offensive line can return to its former glory with Jeff Otah playing right tackle at a high level, it will be even easier for the Jets to pick apart a weak New England secondary.

Dedication to the Running Game

It is hardly a secret that the Jets want to get back to being the physical, in-your-face team that brought them postseason success in
2009 and 2010.

This strategy is particularly useful against prolific offensive teams like the Patriots, as running the ball shortens the game and keeps Mr. Brady off the field as much as possible.

A renewed dedication to the run will also open up play-action opportunities for Sanchez, which is where he is most effective. If Sanchez can get back on track with this formula, it will not only work against the Patriots, but it will put the rest of the league on notice that the Jets are back.

Read more from New York Jets and NFL Draft writer Ryan Alfieri at – it never hurts to learn about your enemy.

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9 Responses to “New York Jets Ready to Compete With Patriots Again: Enemy Week”

  1. Jim R says:

    Ryan that gave me a good belly laugh. Good luck with that.

  2. Jon says:

    – Coples: I think the kid has talent. I also think that getting to Brady is going to be a bit tougher this year. I know there are some questions along the oline, but with the stocking up of the TE position I think the Pats will be fine overall.

    – No Eric Smith: 17 Games in the last two seasons says don’t bank on Landry making it the whole season.

    – Lloyd: I don’t assume Lloyd will end up putting up crazy numbers, but he’s going to be a solid performer. If Lloyd draws Cromartie and Welker gets Revis, that still leaves Gronk and Hernandez out there. Woodhead, Gaffney and Branch should be able to do sufficient damage if Brady’s top four options are covered.

    – Stephen Hill: For as much as you project him to be an impact player I project the Pats pass D to be improved from a year ago. I think if Dowling stays healthy he’ll be a sound answer to someone like Hill. Plus, I’m not sold on who’s throwing Hill the ball.

    – Otah: The dude failed his physical and is on the PUP. Until he’s actually ready to go let’s not bank on him.

    – Dedication to running game: It is a passing league. Sure, the run is important, but if the Jets have to play catchup against elite offenses then the run’s value dimishes greatly.

  3. td says:

    Didn’t the Jets have Revis & Cro last year and what happened?

    Now the tide will be turned because of (1) a rookie DE, (2) an injury plagued SS, (3) an injury plagued RT the “mighty” Carolina Panthers did not want and (4) a rookie WR that had little success in college????

  4. Kyle says:

    I was hopimg they would mention Tim Tebow at some point so we could all get a good laugh. I am disappointed. Regardless, the Patriots were better last year and made more improvements to the team than the Jets did in the offseason, so the Patriots SHOULD win both games.

  5. Tom says:

    First, the Jets made it to two straight AFC Title games??? I hadn’t heard!!!

    Second, you are way underestimating Lloyd’s impact, in my opinion. He will have success against Cromartie.

    Third, Landry will be torched by Brady and the TE’s.

    Fourth, renewed committment to the running game? AND Stephen Hill will lead a more explosive offense?? Wow… the Jets are so awesome, they will ground & pound AND throw it all around the yard.

    Here’s how the Pats will beat the Jets:
    1. Brady
    2. Belichick
    3. Way more talent
    4. Seriously, waaayyy more talent.
    5. More brains.
    6. Linebacker corp significantly improved
    7. Rex Ryan

    • Sam says:

      In regards to your 7 reasons the pats will win, here is the flipside to each

      1 and 2 – Ryan and new OC Tony Sparano have a decade of combined experience regarding Belichick and Brady, im sure they have learned a few things. Though the pats remain dominant, the jets wont exactly be in the dark in terms of game planning, something that worked well in the 2010 divisional round.
      3 – debatable. id say they are even. Jets D is far superior in terms of talent. without brady, the pats would be 8-8 at best. The leagues worst Defense. Brady is to the pats what manning was to to colts, n we all know what happened to the colts when they lost manning.
      4- again, no. leagues worst d. Brady makes everyone around him look better, a staple of a great QB. but Brady is 1 player. if for instance, Revis and Brady were out of the picture.. the advantage would be to the jets. although each team only lost one talent.
      6 – improved yes, still not jet level.
      7- the jets HC is a major strength of the team, so im not sure what you are talking about with this one.

      • td says:

        #4: are you drunk?

        #5: no comment?

        #6: I think Tom was referring to: calling timeout on 4th down with Ravens in ’07, garaunteeing SB’s the past 3 years, admitting mistake on team captains, etc, etc.

        Exactly what makes Tony Sporano such an offensive genius? The ‘Fins are still reeling on offense.

      • patsfaninpittsburgh says:

        Week 3 last year, the “talented” jets defense goes into Oakland and gets lit up for 34 points.

        Week 4 last year, the “32nd” ranked Patriots defense goes to Oakland and with 59 minutes 37 seconds played…gives up 13 points.

        The Jets defense is “superior” except in giving up points and losing games. Minor points but noteworthy.

      • ANB says:

        Also, our quarterback is better than both of yours combined

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