YOOOAdrian’s AFC Divisional Preview- NY Jets at New England

It’s Round Three of this tussle between these two bitter rivals.

The Jets handed the Patriots their first loss of the season in week two 28-14.

In a much anticipated week 13 Monday Night confrontation, the Patriots embarrassed the Jets 45-3 in Foxborough.

The Jets continue to squawk, and the Patriots continue to keep to themselves as we are now just hours away from kickoff.

Jets Pass Offense vs. Patriots Pass Defense

NYJ 202.6 (22) vs. NE 258.5 (30)

(Mark Sanchez)

Bill Belichick keeps finding talent in the draft.  27th overall pick Devin McCourty is a Pro-Bowler as a rookie.  He possesses very good ball skills and finished the NFL with seven interceptions.

Like McCourty, the rest of the secondary is rather young and feisty, especially safeties Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung.

The Patriots are 30th in pass defense, but that statistic doesn’t tell the whole story.  Their opponents have to throw the ball because they’re always behind.

Against a young secondary, let’s see if veteran Jet wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards can expose their youth.

Also, will Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez be able to lead New York back in the game if they fall down early.

Jets Rush Offense vs. Patriots Rush Defense

NYJ 148.4 (4) vs. NE 108.0 (11)

LaDainian Tomlinson LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets looks on before the game against the Washington Redskins on August 27, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Jets are a power, smash mouth running team with two solid running backs in Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson.  Greene has gotten the bulk of the carries down the stretch, but this is postseason play.

The Jets have to do what they did last week against Indianapolis, limit the possessions and keep Patriots quarterback Tom Brady off the field.

The Jets had 169 yards on the ground last week on 38 carries.

The inside linebacker tandem of Brandon Spikes and Jerod Mayo are great downhill players.  Vince Wilfork continues to play at an All-Pro level at nose tackle.

Patriots Pass Offense vs. Jets Pass Defense

NYJ 200.6 (6) vs. NE 240.4 (11)

(Tom Brady)

Tom Brady is so good at slowly matriculating the football down the field.  He finds the one on one matchups and gets the open receiver the football.

Each of New England’s receivers bring something different to the table.  Wide receivers Wes Welker and Julian Edelman are great in the screen game.  They make people miss in space.  Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are a fine pair of rookie tight ends.  Gronkowski is great in the red-zone, while Hernandez is a guy who moves the sticks on third downs.  Deion Branch does a little bit of everything and Brandon Tate is strictly a vertical threat.

The depth of the Jets secondary will be tested.  Darrelle Revis is the best secondary in the league, and Antonio Cromartie is a decent starter, but the Patriots have so many weapons.

Kyle Wilson, Dwight Coleman, Brodney Pool and Eric Smith must be excellent.

Yes, the Jets have to blitz Brady relentlessly, but he gets rid of the ball so quickly that it can be tough to get to him.

Patriots Rush Offense vs. Jets Rush Defense

NYJ- 90.9 (3) vs. NE 123.3 (9)

(Danny Woodhead, the former Jet)

New England runs the ball strictly to keep the defenses honest.  The Patriots can be tricky.  They’ll line running back Danny Woodhead as a receiver and then bring him into the backfield and run the ball.  He was cut by the Jets on September 14th.

The Patriots offensive line gets good push up front.

Their screen game is a de facto running game.

We know how good the Jets are against the run.

Jets Three X-Factors

1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Mark Sanchez
3. Santonio Holmes

Patriots Three X-Factors

1. Tom Brady

2. Jerod Mayo

3. Devin McCourty

Prediction: New England 31 New York 20

It’ll be closer than the week 13 game in Foxborough, but I just don’t see Mark Sanchez being able to get the job done in the fourth quarter when he’ll be needed most.

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