Here’s the thing. I just got done reading the GHOST RAT’s Week 7 Preview…. and I just can’t let that sort of thing go unanswered. My boys are hurting, yes. We have lost Revis and Holmes. We are likely without our starting and backup nose tackles. We are severely banged up at running back (both McKnight and Powell). Keller and Stephen Hill are still playing through recovery and Mangold has been questionable. You may say to me… How can you win? How is it possible that a defense that bad at stopping the run while healthy can win while hurt? How can an offense not producing consistently in run, pass, or play action take on the Patriots? I’ve got one word for you:
Listen, I’ll admit this team has proved nothing this season other than that it can be exceptionally average. We kill teams on the bottom tier like the Bills and the Colts, we get beat by teams in the top tier like the 49ers and the Texans, and we will likely have nail biters against other teams who should be playing better than they are (hey Steelers fans!) – but this week brings a challenge of a different sort, this week isn’t a middle tier verses a top tier. This week is the Jets vs. the Patriots and we HATE THESE GUYS.
It was 2010 when Bart Scott reminded us the “Anybody can be beat” and it was this Summer when Revis reminded us that Belichick is a “Jerk” and it is this Sunday that the Jets will remind the Patriots that the bigger you are the harder you can fall. (My guess is that this will come from a Landry – Gronk leveling that I will feel all the way from my couch at home) The Jets are coming off a great win last week. Yes, those were the Colts and yes… they are just bad, but if you watched closely you could see that my boys were hungry and ticked off. They have a chance to prove to the world that they are more than just the team that Holmes and Revis play on – they have a chip on their shoulder and this attitude and this kind of motivation is exactly what can give these boys an edge over Mr. Rat’s team.
Keys to a Gang Green Victory:
– No Sanchize turnovers. We have based our offense around long (over the middle) passes and up the gut runs. We need to throw more 5-8 yard passes to give Mark some confidence and back the rush defense off a bit so that Bill will be forced to rely on a secondary that is weak.
– Kyle Wilson needs to show up to play. This kid is no Revis, he is no Cro, he is no NFL caliber corner but over the last three seasons he has provided fan with glimpses of why the Jets drafted him and it is not his fault that he was forced to cover the slot receivers when he is more effective with a sideline. My guess is the Patriots will look for any time he is matched up with Welker and try to capitalize. This is likely to happen every third down and it is going to be up to Kyle to step up and make a play.
– Dustin Keller. He was out for a couple weeks and Sanchez had to find other ideas, but he is back and there isn’t a lot of game tape on how the Jets are going to use him for Bill to watch. He was barely involved last week but this week is going to be a Keller breakout performance. The Jets receivers will be covered man to man while the Patriots blitz a ton to disrupt Sanchez. This will provide Keller opportunities to release for those 5-8 yard passed we just talked about.
– Game Clock Management. Other than a bad hair day, there is nothing that the Tom Brady hates more than when he has to throw on the sidelines to stay warm enough to perform well. When teams can keep him off the field he can’t get in a rhythm and he can’t be Brady. If the Jets can mix things up enough, intentionally call two plays in the huddle and have rehearsed audibles, use hard counts to pull antsy, young defensive ends offsides, run the ball effective on third and short, and capitalize on screen passes; the Jets can feasibly keep Brady on the bench.
I believe in the New York Jets. Realistically, is this our year? Probably not… I’ve covered that before. I don’t think our window is as wide as it was in 2009 and 2010. I do, however think that this week is more possible that my colleagues 41-17 prediction indicates. We will have to see on Sunday.
New York Jets 16 Patriots 14
Ghost Rat you can leave the lair and vacation on Reyno Island anytime.