Week 7: Jets @ Patriots: My Thoughts…

Al Bello

Sunday at Gillette Stadium The New York Jets will have their hands full with Tom Brady, and the league leading New England offense.

Last Sunday’s game at Metlife stadium was a game the New York Jets needed to have to remain atop a tight AFC east. The Jets took the bull by the horns, hammering the Indianapolis Colts 35-9. Shonne Green and the Jets run game, which have been non-existent early on this season, made a huge impact totaling 252 yards on the ground. Mark Sanchez wasn’t asked to do much in the air but looked good when his number was called upon. He finished the game 11-18 for 82 yards, 2 TD’s and a 109.0 passer rating. The success of the run game allowed the Jets to control the clock and keep Sanchez from having to throw the ball down field-- where he has struggled this year. The Jets enter a huge week 7 game against their AFC rival’s, The New England Patriots. Both teams are tied for first (and last) in the division and will look to keep their division record’s unblemished.

Last week, by all accounts, was a great win for the Jets. The run game came alive, the defense recorded a few sacks and Mark Sanchez looked comfortable, completing some passes in tight windows. The Jets are flying high off their win against the Colts but unfortunately, and I hate to say it, there will be an emergency landing Sunday in Foxboro.

The New England Patriots have by no means been perfect this season. They’ve had their hiccups and currently sit at 3-3, much like the rest of the AFC. The Patriots losses this season to the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens and most recently the Seattle Seahawks were all close games. The Patriots three losses have come by a combined total of 4 points. They have been unable to close out games like the Patriots of the past but could easily be 6-0 heading into this week 7 matchup.

I am aware of the backlash coming my way, but I just don’t see how the Jets can win this game. In their losses, the Patriots have played against defenses that are better than the Jets defense. Arizona and Seattle both get after the quarterback with greater efficiency then the Jets, and although Baltimore has struggled defensively this season, their offense has been able to step up with the emergence of Joe Flacco. In their losses, Tom Brady has played like Tom Brady, and has put up eye popping numbers. Sunday in Foxboro, I expect the same. The Jets defense played well last week against a young Colts team with a rookie quarterback (albeit the best rookie quarterback I have ever seen). This week they face a three time Superbowl Champion and arguably the best quarterback of our time.

The Patriots defense has been one of the better teams in the league defending the run this year. They have a solid front seven and with the addition of rookie pass rusher, Chandler Jones; they have been able to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Patriots have been vulnerable against the pass, especially, the deep ball. The Jets should look to take advantage of the Patriots young/injured secondary, but Mark Sanchez has yet to prove that he can be an efficient and consistent passer.

We have yet to see Mark Sanchez play at a level worthy of high recognition. He did throw for two touchdowns a week ago, but 82 yards passing just means the Jets asked him to manage the game and not take risk. Against the Patriots, Sanchez will have no choice but to take risk if the Jets want to keep the game within reach. Being a game manager this week is not going to suffice against a high powered offense.

Tom Brady has historically been able to put up great numbers against the Jets, Darrelle Revis included. I certainly can appreciate how the Jets defense turned it on last week but the Patriots are a different beast. Brady and Belichick are going to throw the ball, score touchdowns and put up points. Although the Jets were able to show vast improvements last week, I’m not sold on Mark Sanchez’s ability to keep up with Tom Brady and the no huddle offense. The Jets lack the fire power and sadly the quarterback play to win this game.

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