Monday, December 6, 2010

Strategy Talk (continued)

The Jets offense needs a hot start in the worst way.  A three or four 

point deficit at half is manageable, but if they are down by a touchdown 

or more at half it could be doom.  The best way to a hot start would be to 

keep New England on its toes by coming out with the hurry up offense.  

Part of the early game struggles is attributed to predictability such as high 

percentages of run on first down.  It can also be attributed to Sanchez 

being a little too amped up and having many checks and calls at the line.  

He is a player that likes to play loose and shoot from the hip, and he 

certainly has the weapons at his disposal to suit a hurry up.  An often 

streaky QB, Sanchez has been the main benefactor in the up tempo offense.

On defense, the Patriots will likely put its early focus on stopping the run.  On 

early downs, expect them to crowd the box and line up Wilfork where they 

think the run is coming.  An interesting battle to watch will be how 

Wilfork performs against C Nick Mangold.  Both players have a tremendous 

amount of respect for each other and have gotten into some great duels in 

the past.  In obvious passing downs, the Patriots will play a lot of soft 

Cover 2 to negate the big play the Jets have thrived on this year and 

force Mark Sanchez to read and break down the opposing coverage.  The Pats 

won't gamble much with the blitz due to their pass rush struggles and 

Sanchez's evasiveness.  Make him find the open receiver around a crowd of 

zone defenders instead of gambling with the blitz and letting Holmes or 

Edwards abuse one-on-one coverage.

As the game progresses, if the Jets can have early passing success then 

they will be able to chew up clock with the run.  I don't expect the run 

to be productive in the first half.  Running in the second half will keep 

a red hot Tom Brady on the bench for as long as possible, and that is an 

absoulte must.  All of that will not mean much, however, if the Jets 

struggle to cash in on TDs and are forced to bring out the reeling K Nick 


For both the Jets offense and Patriots defense, the main thing here will 

be the turnover battle.  It is something New England has relied so heavily 

this on, and ball security has been the biggest buzz word for the Jets 

this year.  No longer is Mark Sanchez personally costing games, but even 

though he only had one turnover against the Bengals last week he cannot 

afford to have another statistical clunker tonight.  If Sanchez protects 

the ball but struggles otherwise, they lose a close game.  Furthermore, if 

the Jets commit multiple turnovers tonight, it could get ugly.  Nobody 

makes you pay more than the Patriots.

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