The Jets’ are off to a fantastic start, and have managed to grab the league’s best scoring defense. The additions of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie have made immediate impacts, and the front four of the Jets might as well be the Steel Curtain reincarnate. Yet, as good as their defense is, the Patriots may have the best offense to counter them.
What differs the Patriots from other teams in the league is that they do not have a deep threat that they can line up outside the numbers. (That is not until Brandon LaFell comes back.) Instead the Patriots like to run pick plays, and underneath routes with their smaller receivers.
They also like to play around with their tight ends, sometimes sticking both Gronk and Chandler outside the numbers creating mismatches on corners, and sometimes lining them up in a more traditional position and attempt taking advantage against a linebacker.
The Patriots, as I am sure many of you know, are very unpredictable with their run game as well. They will not run the ball if they feel as if it is a bad matchup and with a front four consisting of Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, and Damon Harrison, I think the Pats will elect to throw more often than run.
This is where the Patriots advantage lies. They must use quick passes, similar to what they did to Seattle in the Super Bowl in order to win. This style of play will neutralize the Jets’ fearsome defensive line, and will not allow them to get a clean shot at Brady. This will be especially important now with the loss of Nate Solder on the left side of the line.
We saw what Greg Hardy can to do this offense if given enough time to pass rush, and that is a game that the Pats do not want to engage in with the Jets. If the Pats are going to lose this game I would much rather have Fitzpatrick beat us (which he won’t, I mean, c’mon he’s Ryan Fitzpatrick), than to let the Jets defensive front dominate.
So if the Pats decide to go this route, the route of quick passes, it will place a great deal of pressure on the Jets corners. Cromartie is used to be matched up against taller receivers and Revis is used to matching up against deep threat, number one receivers. If he is matched up on Edelman, it could be a long day for our boy Darrelle.
Now I know these two went up against each other in practice last year, but this is a different season, and so far Revis has yet to draw an assignment similar to Edelman. Edelman is a coverage nightmare, and with the use of some standard pick plays, he should get the best of Darrelle for the majority of the game.
As for the other slot receiver on the roster, Danny Amendola should get his fair share of targets. Last year in two games against the Jets, Amendola had 9 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, along with some pretty electric punt returns. While Amendola may not have turned out to what we wanted him to be, when he plays the Jets, he might as well be ’07 Wes Welker.
I would imagine Amendola would draw nickel corner, Buster Skrine. So do I expect a big game from him this go around, no, not really, but he should have some success, along with Keyshawn Martin, freeing up Edelman on those pick plays.
Out of all of the offensive targets, however, I think it will be Gronk will have the best day. Gronk is Brady’s security blanket, and in a game such as this against a stellar D-line, I would imagine Brady looking Gronk’s way numerous times and as we have found out this year, no one can cover Gronk. He should find a nice, little home with the seam route and exploit the Jets’ linebackers, as well as safties.
While the Patriots offense should be successful in the end, this is not going to be an easy game. The Jets always manage to play the Pats hard, and this year should be no different. My prediction for this matchup is that it will be a close game, with Pats pulling away closer to end. My hope though, is that they blow out Gang Green by 40, but who knows. We’ll just have to wait and see this Sunday.
By Jake Cianci