Jets vs Patriots Preview
The two teams couldn’t be more far apart heading into their 108th meeting. Historically both teams have been very close with a slight 54-52-1 advantage to the Patriots (including post-season). The Jets come off a tough loss against the then winless Pittsburgh Steelers and the Patriots left a New Orleans team stunned with a come back win by Tom Brady. But don’t kid yourself, these two teams have a long rivalry and the fact that they know each other so well has kept the games very close in the past. Their last meeting on September 12 Thursday Night Football ended bitterly with a Geno Smith interception and a sideline brawl that ejected Nick Mangold and D’Brickshaw Ferguson from the game that ended in a 13-10 win by the Patriots.
Both teams have a depleted offense so no sympathy will be shared between the two franchises. Vince Wilfork and Jerod mayo sustained major injuries, Gronkowski and Amendola will probably be missing for this game as well so Belchick will have to pull some gems from the depth chart to really run off with this game (doesn’t seem too likely). On the Jets side of the ball, Santonio Homes will be a game time decision but his injury will still slow him down, Dee Milliner is also a question mark heading into Sunday .
Keys to the Game:
– Running Through It –
The Patriots have been incredible against the pass this year allowing only a 72.3 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks but have been lackluster against the run. With Vince Wilfork out the run stop will be much more difficult for the Patriots to contain and Chris Ivory could have a field day against their defense. The flip side is that Geno Smith has not done well against the Patriot secondary 15-35 0 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. The key for the Jets will be for Powell and Ivory to run the ball and keep the time of possession on the gang green side so as not to force Geno Smith into must throw situation. The Patriots will have to figure out a way to contain the run and get to Geno as often as possible, this will be a tough task but we have seen Bill Belichick pull out stuff like this all the time.
– Sack Time –
The Jets strong defensive front has been notching up sacks all season long so far with 20 total placing them at 4th in the NFL. In their last meeting they only got to Tom Brady once though. The 2012 first round Quiton Coples hasn’t had a single sack registered all year but this might be his first as the Patriots offensive line hasn’t been so great at protecting Brady allowing for 15 sacks in 5 games. The patriots however have Michael Buchanan, Chandler Jones and Tommy kelly who combined for 4 sacks in their last meeting with the Jets. The defense gave Geno Smith a lot of trouble in the third quarter of their first meeting leading to three straight game stalling interceptions. Which ever team manages to get to the opposing quarterback and pressuring the pass will come out of this game a winner, so far the patriots have shown they can but Rex Ryan knows what he did wrong last game by not going after Brady so look for him to step up the pressure.
Despite the Patriots less than healthy situation heading into Sunday, New England always finds a way to win – especially in the case of division games. With a 61-15 record against the AFC East in regular season play going back to 2001and 20-7 against the Jets with a current streak of 5, the Jets will have a tough hill to climb. Prediction 17- 10 Patriots
By Sergio Peralta