In case you guys didn't know, it's Patriots week. It's still a little too early in the season to say the winner takes all in the AFC East. The winner will have an advantage though. If we win, the Pats would fall to 2-2 in the division, while we go to 3-1, with two more games against Miami and Buffalo. If we win, things become much simpler. We just need a better record than the Patriots, and we can say hello to our 1st home playoff game in a long time. I could say more, but I don't think I need to go further into how important this game is. Here is how we matchup against our bitter rivals...
One thing I've heard a lot the past two weeks, is that the Steelers and the Giants, figured out the formula to beating the Patriots. They go up on the line, and they hit the receivers, and play tight man to man. I hate to burst their bubble, but the Jets have been doing this against the Patriots for a while. The Patriots didn't beat us last time with their passing game. They beat us on the ground. Green- Ellis put up 136 yards against our vaunted defense. We couldn't even stop a nose bleed. I am very happy with how our run defense has improved since then. If we let Green-Ellis run wild on us again, we can kiss this game goodbye also. We should be getting Mike DeVito back. This is great news for our run defense, as he is our best defender against the run. Kendrick Ellis should also be back to rotate in and out with Pouha or whoever. This game will be won or lost with the men up front.
As far as pressure goes, I won't hold my breath. The Patriots offensive line is nasty at pass blocking. Even against the Giants crazy pass rush, there were times he had all day to throw. We need to be able to get to Brady without sending the house. With Maybin getting more and more snaps, I have hope for our pass rush this year. He never gives up on a play, so even if it looks like Brady has all day to throw on a play, that can change very quickly. Putting Brady on his back a few times will get in his head. If we can get in Brady's head, he will make mistakes.
As long as the run defense does their job, our pass defense can do theirs. I want Revis glued to Welker. If Welker has to go to the bathroom, I want Revis there to make sure he washes his hands. If we take Welker out, we take out their biggest weapon. If we can take Welker out, we can then look at their TEs. I think the best way to defend the TEs, is to put them in bracket coverage. It makes the window to throw it to them very small. Also, if the Patriots make it to our red zone, we need to double cover both TEs. They are Brady's primary targets in the red zone. If we take them out, he is then forced to go to his 3rd progression. By then, I hope we have someone in there, making Brady uncomfortable.
Our defense doesn't have to be the only ones trying to stop Brady. Our offense can help out a lot. If we can keep the ball in Sanchez's hands, and out of Brady's, we will be increasing our chances of winning. Our running game is going to be very important. When the Jets and Patriots 1st met, we were just starting to get back to our running roots. Since then, our running game has gotten better with each game. It will need to continue that trend on Sunday. If we can run the ball successfully, we can control the game.
I was actually really surprised when I heard about Haynesworth being waived. Out of the two free agent moves the Patriots made, Albert looked to be the only decent one. I thought Chad Johnson would be gone long before Haynesworth. With Haynesworth out, I really don't think the Pats are that strong up front. Of course they still have Wilfork, but he is just one man. I wonder if this means the Patriots will go back to more 3-4 sets. The Patriots are ranked 9th against the run. I think this has more to do with them being 32nd against the pass. We could follow the trend, and try passing it on them 40 times, but we won't control the clock that way.
I hope I haven't come off like I don't want us to throw the ball, because I do. The success of our passing game will be what keeps our drives alive. Running the ball can only get us so far. Eventually, the Pats will just put lots of bodies up front, and running the ball won't be much of an option. This is when Sanchez needs to air it out, and make them pay for committing to the run.
We are going to need another complete game from both the offense and defense. The Patriots might be hurt, but they are still powerful. I will be at this game, and plan on answering Rex's challenge. I hope everyone else who plans on going, does the same.