Filed under: NFL, Uncategorized | Tags: Bill Belichick, Football, Jets, NFL, Patriots, Playoffs, Sports
I could only make it to Thursday.
Bottling up stats, quotes, and other potentially useful pieces of information, the Sports Blast has gone through most of the week without discussing the upcoming Jets and Patriots duel, part 3. As a show based around the New England/New York/New Jersey area, this game undoubtedly harbors most of our interest.
This game pits two completely different teams. One focuses on defensive football, never shies away from an outlandish comment, and lives under the boisterous shadow of Rex Ryan. The other? Well they’re much more business like, methodically going through each week, rarely giving the media much to work with while featuring an offense which is ever evolving.
The way they talk, you’d think the Jets were the favorites to win this game. Personal shots at Tom Brady and Bill Belichick(typical Jets protocol) have resulted in, well, nothing. Perhaps most frustrating of all for Rex Ryan, the Patriots only response to any of his poor efforts to spark controversy was a playful prod by Bill Belichick himself, declaring that it’s the best for both sides that the two coaches do not suit up.
But can the Jets really be taken seriously?
I hate to be that guy, but the majority of the public needs to be reminded that the Jets are a mere 3-4 against winning teams, and that’s counting last weekends nailbiter against the Indianapolis Colts. Rex Ryan has yet to beat New England at Gillette since taking over the New York Jets, and the last ditch retort “what about week 2″ really holds no place in any discussion.
In week 2, the Patriots offense featured Randy Moss, Laurence Maroney, and Fred Taylor. They were without Logan Mankins and Danny Woodhead. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a relative unknown, Darius Butler suffered a volcanic-equse meltdown, and the Patriots still managed to lead after one half. How relevant is that game?
Some people counter that the playoffs are all about “any given Sunday” and the Jets are riding high after a win against the vaunted Colts. The same vaunted Colts who led with less than a minute ago. The same vaunted Colts who were without Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Clint Session, Bob Sanders, Kelvin Hayden, Ryan Diem, and Antonio Johnson. Wow, that was exhausting. The Jets run game overpowered an undersized Colts defensive front 7, but will the same happen in New England?
The strength of the Jets offense is their power run game. The ability to put Mark Sanchez on ice for 10 plays/87 yards needs to be prevalent in order for New York to win. And by put on ice, I mean not allow to throw the ball more than twice. But can the Jets sustain such domination on the ground against a bigger, more skilled run defense? The jump from Indianapolis to New England in terms of run stoppage is rather large, spanning from 25th in the league to 11th. You aren’t going to be able to move Vince Wilfork and Gerard Warren far, something the Jets did well with the undersized Colts Dlineman such as Robert Mathis.
While all previews are relative, it’s impossible to argue with what the Patriots have done leading up to this game. Since 2004, the Patriots are 8-0 coming off a bye week. Since Bill Belichick has been in control, the Patriots have never lost coming off a wild card weekend bye. He’s intercepted Mark Sanchez a whopping 7 times in just 2 games at Gillette stadium. For what it’s worth, Belichick has reached the Super Bowl 3 times when going 14-2 in the regular season, ’03, ’04, and ’07.
Consider this a challenge to the Jets fans throughout the nation. What have the Jets done to prove themselves worthy of the expectations they’ve placed on their shoulders? It’s been a long week(still isn’t over), and obviously the only thing that matters is what happens on the field.
But give me a team who displays a higher level of focus(the Patriots), rarely lose at home(the Patriots) and have been here before over a team who might be nothing more than a breath of hot air.
- Mark Chiarelli
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