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For Christmas Eve: Part II.
The problem the Pats face in this game is familiarity. "One thing I
know we need to do is really affect Brady," Jordan Jenkins said.
"He's always comfortable at his 7-yard spot and we just have to
really get him off his spot. I knew Brady was good, but just watching him
the last four minutes of that game, that's when I really realized, 'okay,
Tom Brady's [ah] Tom Brady.' We can't let Tom Brady 'go Brady' on us.
That's what happened in that last little bit. We were battling the first 3
1/2 quarters, but you can't take your foot off the gas, you have to
finish. We can't let that happen this game." The Jets know the Pats
as well or better than any other team.
brings up the question of which team it favors more, the smarter team or
the worse coached team. We have seen it time and time again. I think it
favors the worst coached team. Last year it certainly favored the Jets. It
also favored the Dolphins last year.
saw it last year, after the Pats won the AFC EAST, the lowly Jets kicked
their asses. "I think there are two sides to that coin. I think that
we are so thankful to have won eight straight division championships.
There are a lot of teams that would be hopeful to win one, so we don't
just say, 'Hey, that's peanuts.' It's a big deal," Slater said.
"But at the same time, we've had a taste of the ultimate goal. A lot
of people around here have had that taste. Once you get a taste of it, I
think it's something you'll always be tasting. I think every team in this
league is chasing the same thing, and we've had some great fortune around
here. We do things a certain way but as I said, an injury here, and injury
there, the ball bounces that way, who knows what happens." Are the
Pats satisfied? Because the Jets sure as hell ain't.
think it helps the crappier team. This is the fourth game where the Jets
and Pats have essentially played each other in the same systems with
basically the same players and coaches. The veteran Jets (yes, that's an
oxymoron), know the Pats players better than the coaches.
Jets players have punched the Pats players in the face and been punch by
them. "It's not a challenge of getting them motivated. We're going to
show up and play hard," Bowles said. "That's the easy part.
We're just losing bodies left and right. Plugging in the new guys to make
sure they understand what they're doing and adjusting again is, really,
the big challenge in handling that. But they play hard and we're going to
show up on (Saturday) and play hard as well. We'll just get used to the
guys and plug them in. It's one of them seasons where the ball hasn't
bounced the right way. You're discouraged, you're disappointed, you're
pissed off, but you're not giving up hope and you have to try to turn
things around." They have battled the players, and fought them in the
Jets are pissed, not just about the losing but about being called out
nationally as quitters. "Losing is miserable, but die-hard fans can
endure losing seasons," some
Jet-bag named Chris wrote. "What we cannot tolerate, what truly
sucks the soul out of us, is watching our team openly quit. As I write
this, the Jets trail 24-3 against the Colts at halftime. The first half
contained a litany of 'highlights,' including three personal foul
penalties, countless blown coverages in the secondary, and a defensive
effort that would make a sloth blush." The Jets players have to be
right now we don't know which QB will be playing. Petty took over and then
promptly got injured. "He's getting better by the day," the HC
of the NYJ said. "It's probably too early to tell. I'll see as the
week goes by." And Bowles is certainly not going to tell us who is
was the college football star from a spread system that made me vow to
never support Air Raid QBs again. "He has a strong arm," Bowles
said. "He's athletic. He's a very bright guy and he learns and he can
throw the ball down the field, as well as throw the short passes, and he's
accurate." They learn nothing about playing football in the NFL in
that system. "We have to get him healthy first," Bowles said.
And then you just want to see the turnovers cut down if he plays. And then
you want to see him make progressions as far as his reads and get better
each week." He hasn't shown that he can translate his success in
thinks that Petty is going to play. '"We'll be seeing a different
quarterback maybe this week with Petty. He has been in there the last
couple games," BB said. "[Petty is a] younger guy, but you can
see he understands the offense, he's doing the things that they want him
to do, that Chan Gailey wants him to do in his offense. He has a big arm.
He's thrown shots down the field and he's really spreading the ball around
so another week where we have to all play well, especially in the back
end. It won't be one guy against Marshall. It's really everybody. We've
got to all come ready to play. They use everyone in the passing game just
trying to get everyone involved. We've just got to have a complete game
defensively." Which probably will lock up the victory for the Pats.
as I try to convince everyone the Jets are a threat, putting in
essentially a rookie QB is just to difficult to overcome on the road
against the best team in the NFL. Granted he is a second year guy, and not
a rookie. But he as a 1/2 TD to INT ratio, 3 to 6, Brady has an 11 to 1
ratio. In his five appearances this season, this will be his 4th start.
Young QBs can often put up stats, but struggle to win as they learn how to
play in the NFL.
Jets can't beat the Pats with Petty at QB, especially since that puts the
Patriots killer Fitz on the bench. I'm sorry. I tried to make you
ah-scared, but Petty just doesn't have the experience to come into Foxboro
in December and beat the Pats. I do believe that the Jets veterans will be
looking to hurt the Pats. The Jets are a wounded animal coming into
Foxboro. But they just can't win with Petty.
Run Game.- The Pats are going to try and run the ball as much as
they can in this game. They want to shorten the game, and toughen up their
offense and O-line a little. They want to beat on the Jets and let them
quit. Get up early, and run the ball.
next two games are really going to be playoff primers. "It's very
important. I think as professionals we have to understand that we have a
job to do. We have to prepare ourselves regardless of the
circumstances," Slater said. "It just so happens to be Christmas
week. We have to prepare ourselves to do our job and we can't cut any
corners. But then at the same time when we do have that down time,
Christmas is an important holiday for a lot of people for a lot of
different reasons, myself included. Then you have the Hanukkah season
starting and things of that nature. So I think it's important to be
mindful of family, to be mindful of how blessed we've been over the last
year, professionally, personally. It's definitely a great time to pause
and be thankful for that. But at the same time, take care of your
business." Everything they do the next two weeks, beside celebrate
Christmas, is going to be preparing for January football.
is also a good way to get ready for the Playoffs. "I think possibly
that can be an advantage for us if we're able to do a little bit extra
during the week of preparation," Slater said, "Understanding as
I said, the season and things of that nature. Hopefully it can be an
advantage for us. I can't speak for other teams and what they do and how
they prepare, but I know that we've always done a great job of preparing
regardless of the situation, and hopefully we can do that again this
week." There will certainly be distractions, chatter, and trolling
during he Playoffs.
winter we had a historically mild winter. Which means this year it is
likely to be the opposite. The coaches have to anticipate that both games
in Foxboro, in the Playoffs, could be snow games. It looks like the games
in Foxboro are going to be tough cold weather, and likely snow games.
also often means simplify the offense, so the DC of whomever we play
struggles to find good film. Which can lead to a dangerous line. The
problem again is that the Pats number one priority in preparing for the
Playoffs is seeding. As long as the Raiders win, the Pats have-have-have
to win. And of course both games in the final two weeks, the Raiders are
scheduled to play after the Patriots. And of course these week's game is a
cupcake against the mismanaged Colts.
Raiders are not going to fold, though the Colts game looks like a trap
game as well. "A huge sense of urgency! I mean, it's kind of like we
were in the same position last year: same opponents the last two weeks of
the season, obviously same goals. Last year whatever we thought of how
good of a position we were in and, 'blah blah blah,'" McCourty said.
"The season didn't end the way we wanted it to. I think the biggest
thing we always talk about is past games, last year, the biggest thing is
learning from those experiences. Obviously those games have no bearing on
this year's games but just learning of, 'What did you do that week?', 'Did
you go the extra step to try to prepare?', 'Did you go the extra mile at
the toughest part of the season'. Two games left, Christmas, New Years,
just trying to put in a little extra?"
I think obviously Coach Belichick reminded us of that and I think as guys
that were here last year and veterans, we've got to try to urge the team
to have that sense of urgency by obviously first leading by example out
there today. [It's a] short week, try to get ahead of yesterday and then
now just trying to put it on the practice field and get ready to go for
Saturday." The Pats are going to have to go 14 and 2, or 13 and 3 if
they are lucky (LA has to go into Denver next week).
weeks game against the Jets is a must win game, and unofficially the first
game of the Playoff. "This week is all about beating the Jets,"
McCourty said. "Like I said, he (BB) talked about last year being in
the same position: two games left, trying to play your best football to
end the season, and us doing it (not). So I really think that's what he's
harped on this year, of trying to execute and finish down the stretch.
[That was] something that we obviously struggled with last year, losing
two tough games in the division. So I think really from him and Matty P
that has been the thing. [We're] just trying to play well and it's going
to start with this game and then we'll worry about next week later."
One game at a time.
are going to have to face the fact that they need to win the last two
games to force LA into Foxboro for another snow game. "I think it's
something that Coach Belichick preaches. For the players 'speak for
yourself.' There is nothing I can comment on or say about that,"
McCourty said. "Then it all comes down to if it helps you win a
football game or if it doesn't help you win a football game. Obviously I
think for us as players, our goals are going to be on being prepared to
play on Saturday and that's something we've just got to focus on. I think
if you start talking about distractions and different things keeping you
off guard or making you not be able to prepare well and then you go out
there and you lose a game, I think that's what really hurts you. So I
think the team realizes how urgent we have got to be in preparing and
being ready to go Saturday above all other things." Really,
everything else is BS.
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