One Boston blog thinks the suspension of Calvin Pace will help the Pats get a jump on the division.
Though losing Pace may be challenge it’s not a certainty they’ll lose any of their games because of his absence. In any event New York can ill afford to fall behind early in the division race.
The lack of a pass rush specialist or talented edge defender could open the door for teams to run more plays designed to matchup against the linebacker; sweeps, off tackle runs, dump offs are all fair game. If the Jets cannot muster a better pass rush – something Pace’s presence would help – then teams with the skillset to push the ball through the air (like the Patriots) can take advantage. Coming off a 2008 season, which saw the New York defense give up 234.5 yards per game through the air (29th overall), losing Pace could cause serious issues.
As if the Pats needed any help handling the Jets. There is only one piece of comfort for the Jets. Football is a game where design can at least partially overcome a lack of talent. Rex Ryan is established as one of the best schemers in the league. He certainly will be put to the test early without a legitimate pass rusher lining up at outside linebacker for the first quarter of the season.