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New York Jets Should Change Approach for Divisional Game Against New England Patriots

Last week the Jets won the game in part because they were willing to play coverage against Peyton Manning to limit big plays. They forced Manning to put together long arduous drives and to settle for field goals. I do not think this approach will work this week.

Manning was not able to find success because his receiving corps was largely neutralized. Darrelle Revis took away Reggie Wayne. Pierre Garcon had moments against Antonio Cromartie, but Manning's weapons beyond him had a tough time. I think the result of the game might have been different had Dallas Clark and/or Austin Collie were there as other options. Those guys are adept at beating coverage, and considering how little pressure the Jets were getting, would have had ample time to win their matchups, which would have favored them.

Tom Brady will have no such problems. He has all kind of weapons in the short passing game from Wes Welker to Rob Gronkowski to Aaron Hernandez to Danny Woodhead. These guys present the Jets with some matchup issues. If Brady has time, he is fully capable of dinking and dunking the Jets do death.

While we have been frustrated by New York's pass rush, there have been some excellent performances turned in by the blitz this season. It has just been inconsistent from game to game and sometimes within games. When the Jets have given Brady problems in the past, they have confused him and his protection by showing multiple fronts and blitzing from all angles. They have hit him and made him uncomfortable. Brady is human. Like every quarterback, he is less effective if you can generate consistent pressure on him.

This might be easier said than done. The Pats about an extra blocker in per pass during the Week 13 facing New York's attack. That helps against the pass rush, but one edge for the Jets is that it also takes a receiver out of the play. Brady is also as good of a quarterback as I have seen at feeling pressure and sliding one step to buy extra time. He's not the most mobile guy in the pocket, but he's very good at evading the pass rush.

The Jets are capable of getting to him, though. What has happened in the past this year does not really matter. The pass rush is certainly good enough to put one big game together. I am sure Rex Ryan will throw in some new wrinkles.

I do not expect the Jets to take my advice and have Darrelle Revis follow Welker around all game. Against teams that do not have gamebreaking receivers, Rex likes to move Revis around and mix up coverage to confuse quarterbacks. This can have success against Brady initially on plays, but Brady has seen everything. Eventually he will figure out the coverage, and one of these receivers will get open against the underbelly of New York's secondary. The Jets need to hit get to him in that time as he is figuring out the coverage and the receivers have not yet completed their routes. This calls for an aggressive plan. The Pats don't have Randy Moss anymore. They are not as dangerous deep. The Jets should trust their guys to not allow huge plays in the back.