After a tight playoff win last night, the Jets go to Foxborough to play the Patriots - site of their 45-3 loss earlier in the year. Now for some observations and predictions:
Jets are 2-1 vs the top 2 seeds in the AFC this year
Tom Brady is 1-2 vs "Ryan brothers" coached defenses this year
Jets are 2-2 vs Patriots last two years
The last time the Patriots scored less than 30 points was in November, vs Cleveland!
In their two losses this year the Patriots only scored 14 points
The Jets have lost only 1 game this year when they score a TD on offense
The Jets will use the 45-3 loss as motivation to show that "nobody shows them any respect" and "nobody thinks they can win." What will be hilarious is how the Patriots will feel the same way! We will also hear a lot of "we haven't done anything yet" and "they have a good football team over there."
The following quotes will be food for the media "I didn't come here to kiss Belichick's rings" and "Peyton Manning studies more than Tom Brady."
And so, here's how it boils down.
When the Jets have the ball: They need to score. They should expect to need to put up 30 points. The Patriots like to take away the things you do well, so they will stuff the box with 8 and dare Sanchez to beat them. Interestingly, the Jets ran against 8 in the box against Indianapolis. In addition, the Pats will probably try to shut down Edwards and make Keller and Holmes do the heavy work. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jets try to do a few misdirection things with formations like they did with Pittsburgh where they get in run heavy formations and try some play action. No drops!
When the Patriots have the ball: They will score. The key is keeping them to FG's but an aggressive Belichick showed that he's willing to go for it on 4th & short in the last meeting (even when up by 30+). The defense did a good job creating 3rd & longs vs Indy, and will have to do the same here. The Jets are built for beating the Colts, but less so for the Pats. NE is going to show a lot of heavy run formations and then pass to their pass happy TE's. In the game vs the Colts, the Jets also used a lot of DB's and again, it wouldn't be surprising if they did the same here. The Jets would probably be content to let NE to run against them because that plays to their strengths and it means they're shutting down the pass.
Special Teams: The Jets have a better chance of breaking a big return but also a better chance of missing a FG or shanking a punt (12 yd punt?)
So who will win? Patriots are big favorites here. Jets have to execute perfectly and fool Brady with formations in order to win this one.
Additional footnote: You know the "home unbeaten streak" of New England, and the "interception-free streak" of Tom Brady? Apparently this doesn't include last year's playoff game where they lost and Brady threw 3 INT's.