This afternoon the 1-4 Jets visit New England to take on the 2-3 Patriots, a division rival in a division that so far this year appears to be pretty weak. After six weeks, Buffalo leads the AFC East with four wins; between them, the rest of the division only has four wins between three teams. For most practical intents and purposes, this Jet team consequently counts itself among the not very good, if not just plain bad teams in the conference. But. That doesnt mean that there arent bright spots and arrows pointing up and in the right direction. Or that we have to go on the road as seven point underdogs and be prepared to simply kiss Bill Belicheck's, well, kiss his rings as the saying goes.
Which brings us to point one. New England's head coach is probably the most important person on that Patriot sideline who the Jets will have to face today. Not only is he going to go out of his way to confuse our rookie QB, but he's also going to do his best to humiliate the Head Coach and his Offensive Coordinator by playing multiple coverages, mixing zone and man, blitzing from both conventional and unconventional positions, and stacking the box to cut off all offensive opportunities for the Jets before they even begin. Robert Saleh has to step up to the challenge by not biting on everything that Bellichick has to offer. That means telling his OC, Mike La Fleur to keep it simple, and dont play Belichick's game before you get a chance to establish yours. Run the ball. Give it to Carter stretch plays off tackle, ram it up the middle with Johnson. But dont give up on the run game. Establish presence up front and in the trenches, dont be afraid to drop Zach and look downfield. But dont expect to exploit the Patriots downfield on the first play of the game. Patience. Get into rhythm and get first downs. Work on possessing the ball early then scoring points in the first half to stay in the game.
On defense, this is a game where the Jets can really make hay getting at the rookie qb and making him pay for mistakes. NE will try to run the ball and then dump it out short and to the backs and tight ends. Get first downs and control clock, wear us down through attrition. Jets D line has to take control and force turnovers. Get to the QB, hit him, get him on the ground. Then watch the ball come out funny, turn field position into points.
OK got to git, game's about to start, but i wanted to get my two cents in before kickoff. This is a young team, well rested, well schooled with a game plan and a new start off the bye week. Take Bellichick and his shenanigans off the table, keep it simple, make if fast and physical with focus, direction, and determination---eliminate stupid mistakes and costly errors--and this is a game the Jets can, and will, I think win. Zack throws for 250 with two td's, Carter goes for 80 yards rushing, Davis has a hundred yard receiving game and one of the other receivers, Moore or Mims has six catches and a TD. I'm liking the Jets if they dont turn it over, 27-21. That's my story. And Im sticking to it....