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The Runway: Five Questions With Pats Pulpit, Part 2

Greg from Pats Pulpit answered five questions from me about his team. The second one asks him to look back at what happened last year in the Playoffs and whether the Pats can do a better job this time around.

When the Jets beat the Patriots in the Divisional Playoffs, they pretty much loaded the middle of field with defenders playing the pass and trusted their defensive line and outside corners to win their individual matchups. To what degree are the Pats better equipped to handle a similar approach?

I'm not sure if they are better equipped.  The biggest issue in that playoff game, in my opinion, was that Aaron Hernandez (aka the "match-up nightmare") really wasn't healthy.  But of course, he's not healthy headed into this match-up yet again.  I would expect the Patriots to challenge the Jets rush defense with heavy doses of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley, which would hypothetically force the Jets to stack the line of scrimmage and allow the Patriots to use the tight ends to expose mismatches in the middle of the field.