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2017 Season Blog.

Defending

Super Bowl Champs.

7-Things For Sunday: Part II. 

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

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Grudge Match.

By TOM

5. Pats D Vs Jets' O- Okay, enough of the scary stuff. The Pats are the more talented team, but are they the better team? The Pats were not the better team the first five weeks of the season. They are both 3 and 2 for a reason. The Jets team really came together three weeks ago, while the Pats just started to put it all together last week.

Remember the Saints game? When the Pats-D really couldn't stop squat. "Yeah, we're into the Jets. It's Jets week and we've got to get on top of this and get [it] going," Patricia said. "I think this team is doing a really good job right now of playing good team football. All sides of the ball [are] playing complimentary. I think the offense Coach Morton coming from his background with the Saints where he's pretty familiar with us too, it'll be a big challenge for us from that standpoint. I think he's doing a great job of really using his weapons that he has. The quarterback, McCown, is doing a good job of dispersing the ball. He has some good weapons in the skill positions. They do a good job of mixing formations with some shifts and motions." He is mart and in control like Brees, though not as good a QB.

The Jets know they have to run the ball to beat the Pats, period. "Obviously the run game really steadies the entire offense, allows them to use that [Play Action], and then push the ball down the field," Patricia said. "But they also do a great job with the controlled passing game, kind of the short passing game that spreads you out horizontally also. I think Powell obviously is running extremely well. [Some guy named] McGuire, you see him in there too. He does a good job. Those guys just continually running the ball and the guys up front block very well." Their O-line is blocking very well against the run, and setting up their Play Actions. For all the changes they made on their offense, the O-line stayed intact.

They also have two TEs who can and will hurt the Pats in the run and play action game. "The tight ends [Seferian-Jenkins and Tomlinson] are a big part of the offense right now so you're going to see them in different roles," Patricia said. "Between Kerley and Kearse and [Robby] Anderson. [ArDarius] Stewart will be in there will his speed. His versatility and really can come at you from a bunch of different directions." Again not necessarily household names, but they have some youth and speed. Kerley and Kearse are two veterans who have hurt the Pats in the Past.

The two young guys have the speed. "They're going to mix personnel. They'll go from big people to smaller groupings and try to attack you in different ways," Patricia said. "He's doing a good job of just keeping them very balanced. This is a very balanced offense run-pass wise. They're very balanced throughout the course of the game and I think when they find something that they can attack you with week in week out, they will game plan different looks and different plays that when they can get after you with that standpoint in a game, then they're just going to keep coming with it. Definitely I would say this is a big challenge for us from that standpoint. I think, again, the quarterback, the way he's able to disperse the ball and get it out to the skill players with a combination with their running game, that's really kind of the biggest challenge for us." McCown has shown he can make the right reads and put the ball where he needs to go.

Plus if Seferian-Jenkins is healthy, he is a great young player. "The general question that you asked I would say the Jets have always, we've played them for a number of years, they've had a lot of good tight ends there too," Patricia said. "Seferian-Jenkins is obviously a big player for them right now. [He] does a great job of really using his body control to get open. So there's a lot of plays you're going to see he's heavily covered and the quarterback has a high trust in the fact that he can feature him and get him the ball and he's going to come down with it. So he's got a big catch radius which helps him there and does a good job of just getting open." The Offense is playing smart, like they did a couple of years ago when Fitzpatrick chewed the Pats Defense up. 

They have a smart veteran QB back at the helm who has seen it all. "They do some things formationally where they put him in situations where the quarterback can identify the defense and the coverage and really understand when he has the one-on-one situation and then try to feed him the ball from that standpoint too," Patricia said. "I think they're definitely trying to utilize those guys. It helps them attack the inside part of the defense with the tight ends. Same with the backs, both those guys. Powell is very good out of the backfield. Those guys can attack the inside part because you have to put a big emphasis on the wide receivers. They have good skill players. Once that happens and then you tie in the tight ends and the backs into what they do. I think [it's] definitely a philosophy of Coach Morton that he's carried through with the Saints. That really puts more stress on the defense." I just don't see a cake walk here.

I see another grind it out to the death Pats-Jets grudge match. The Jets hate the Pats more than we hate them. They are going to fight for everything, like they do every year. Both teams are extremely familiar with each other, and that favors the worse team. The Jets come into this game with more than a few advantages, including playing at home in the swamps of New Jersey, and revenge.

6. O-line- The Pats offense is not exactly the well-oiled machine of last season. "I think continuity is great, and understanding what your role is and what's expected of you, that's a good thing for any employee," McDaniels said. "I would say that I feel like I know what my job is or my role is. I think all of our coaches and players understand that because the communication is clear and we understand what we need to do to help the team win on a week-to-week basis. That's really the most important thing to me." Brady has been beaten onto the injury report, and not by a singular event, but by being the most Sacked QB in the NFL.

Todd Bowles claim to fame is that he designs schemes that hit the QB, with lesser passrushers. "I would say each test each week is different," McDaniels said. "It takes a tremendous amount of time and preparation from our staff and from our players to prepare hard each week to get ready, just to go in there and play the game and compete against the best players and the best coaches in our league." The Jets didn't seem very scary coming into the season. But they are looking scary, for a not quite put together Patriots team, this week.

The Jets are playing their best football right now. "Those are difficult challenges. I don't take anything for granted. I don't have any answers prior to preparing and trying to do the best we can with the time that we have each week," McDaniel said. "So it's a long process. It's a process that we believe in here that we go through to try to put ourselves in position to be competitive and to play complementary football and try to do whatever's asked of us on Sunday or Monday or Thursday night, whatever it might be, to help our team win. So, I hope that answers the question." The O-line has to play better, or Brady could get hurt worse.

I am sick of the new guy RB-rotation, they are going to need James White to step up again this week. "James works at all aspects of his game very hard," McDaniel said. "The part of his game that gets the least amount of attention is all the things that he does in terms of blitz pickup and handling all the exotic different looks that defenses give us these days. He's in there on all those snaps and has a tremendous amount of responsibility that we all trust him to take on and do right. He comes through. He's very dependable in that role." He and Dion need to be on the field more.

White is the best back in blitz pick up, getting open short for Brady, and has improved every season as a runner. "He's worked on his ability as a runner. He's worked on his ability as a pass receiver, route runner, pass catcher, blitz pickup," McDaniels said. "We ask him to chip and do types of things on the edge, sometimes to take some edge off the rush. I mean, he's a very unselfish guy. I don't know that we would ever put him out there and play him as a receiver as a receiver. When he's out there, he's doing things that we would ask our running backs to do. But, he's expanded his role each year that he's been here and he's expanded what he can do and what he does well for our offense." He has turned himself into an ultra dependable 3rd down back, like Kevin Faulk.

So put him on the damn field. "I think that James, each week in the game plan, he tries to evolve in what we're doing with him and do it the best that he can," McDaniels said. "He's an experienced player now. He's got a lot more snaps now than he did a few years ago, and he understands how he gets played a little differently from week to week, but the big thing with him is he learns his role, he's unselfish, he's dependable to do it right and he's come through under some big pressure. There's a lot of good things that he does for our offense." He is the best blocker in pick up, and getting open quick so Brady can dump the ball off (so he doesn't take another hit on his shoulder), that the Pats have.

They have to start finding ways to stop Brady from getting hit. "The Jets, I'd start with the fact that the last four times we've been there, the game has either went to overtime or come down to the last possession. It's a tough place to play. They're a tough, really hard-nosed, tough, physical team," McDaniels said. "They know us very well. We know them. They've got a physical front. They've got a very talented front. They've got speed at linebacker. They've got length on the edge. They've got some really, really talented inside players with Williams, Wilkerson, [Steve] McLendon. Those guys are tough to block and do a really good job for them inside." Has everyone forgotten that the Jets play their two Super Bowls each season against the Pats.

It is never an easy blow out in New Jersey. "And then they've got some new guys in the secondary that this will be our first opportunity to play against them and get to know them this week with Maye and Adams," McDaniels said. "Claiborne we've played against before but not as a Jet. So, it's a new group, a physical bunch. They create some situations that you've got to deal with relative to their scheme on all three downs." I'm not a big fan of their two staring CBs, Claiborne and Skrine.

But they are playing the best ball of their careers, and aren't young guys any more. They are veterans. "They're a team that's been opportunistic in terms of taking the ball away when they've had some chances to do so, and they've been stingy in the passing game," McDaniels said. "There's a lot of things we've got to get ready for, a lot of challenges here. They're good on 3rd down. It's another area that we're going to have to do a good job of really trying to make sure we have a good plan and have a good week of preparation for that, too." They will make it tougher than you think they should to pass the ball.

This is when the real season starts for the Patriots. "First game in the division, excited to have the opportunity to do that and get started against a team that we know," McDaniels said. "But there's a lot of guys on this defense that we might not have played against before. Coach Bowles and that staff does a great job. Looking forward to getting started with our week here." You have to win your division against your worst rivals first, if you want to host the Champ Game.

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