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Antonio Cromartie vs. Wes Welker Will Be a Key Matchup

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Based on what we saw Monday, the Jets really cannot afford to trust anybody other than Darrelle Revis to play Randy Moss. In an ideal world, Antonio Cromartie or Kyle Wilson would have played well enough for the team to use one of them at the line at least part of the time to bang Moss around and have safety help shadowing over the top while Revis manned up with Wes Welker to try and take away the underneath throw. That did not happen, though, so Rex Ryan pretty much has to stick Moss on Revis Island to take the dangerous playmaker away. While it would be nice to mix up coverages to try and mix Tom Brady up a little, that option should be off the table.

That leaves Cromartie to cover Welker, who showed no signs of the torn ACL slowing him down in the opener. Wilson should not have to handle that task. He is clearly still adjusting to the speed of the pro game. He looked tentative on Monday. Welker is one of the best route runners in the game if not the best. He could make life difficult on a rookie playing conservatively to prevent the big play. Cromartie is the guy to cover Welker.

In basketball, it is a common strategy to have the tallest player on the floor guard an inbound pass. The idea is to put as big of an obstacle in front of the guy throwing the ball in. A similar concept will apply in this matchup. Welker is good at creating just enough space for Brady to put the ball in. Cromartie's big frame and ability to stay with Welker athletically could give the Pats a hard time getting the ball to the best slot receiver in the game.

Then again, if Cromartie plays like he did in the opener, the Jets could have a problem on their hands. If Welker is able to make the catch, he can do damage. He is quick in space, and we all know about Cromartie's tackling issues. Welker killed the Jets in Foxborough last year with 15 catches for 192 yards. In the first meeting, Welker was out hurt, but Julian Edelman filled in with a 100 yard game in his place. If the Jets can slow Welker down, they can take away the weapon from the slot that killed them on the road last year and was New England's only real weapon at the Meadowlands. If they cannot, it could be a long day of Brady dinking and dunking the Jets down the field.