Patriot's Vs The Future.
December 3rd, 2010
The Pats Must-Win game is coming on Monday. This isn’t just a Division game, a Pats-Jets rivalry game, or a grudge match, this is All-In Baby. Winner takes all. I am predicting right here and right now that the winner of this game hosts the AFC Championship game at home, as a favorite to go to the Super Bowl, and i don't think that's a particularly bold prediction.
The two best teams in the AFC are
squaring off for the right to host the Playoffs at Home. Can you feel your
balls tingling? Whether you’re a Pats Fan or, well, a
Okay, so we actually have to talk about the game. The League’s most hyped team against the League’s least hyped team. The Loudmouth Vs the Brain in Sneakers. The Top O Vs the Top D. Who cares? The question is how do the Pats win?
Offensively it seems less of a problem. The Jets blitz happy D is going to leave holes in the flats just like Pittsburgh D did. Attacking the side of the field that Calvin Pace and/or Bryan Thomas abandon is going to paramount to victory. Sending a tight end or a RB out into the flat is going to be the quick read for Brady all game. Attacking the flats with the WRs will be a little more risky because of their Corners. I think it would be better to sacrifice the WRs to clear the Corners out of the flats, though the Pats do like to attack the flats with the WRs as well, I’d like to see less of that this game. Have them attacking the middle of the field and deep (more to keep the Safeties occupied than for production). Then you have the Revis issue. Revis has proven he can shut down Moss, but don’t forget he has also proven he can shut down Welker. Remember a few years ago when Welker was killing the Pats in the 1st half, and they put Revis on him and he shut him down. I look for the Jets to try and shut Welker down and let the other guys beat them.
The blitz that Ryan is most famous for is shooting his two ILBs through the A and B gaps and abandoning the middle of the field. David Harris and Bart Scott will cause a lot of problems run and pass blitzing right up the middle. Plus, the Jets like to fake or “simulate” that blitz as much as actually send both guys, which make it even more difficult for the QB to read. It is a tough blitz for the O-Line to pick up, but if they do and you can throw over it, the middle of the field will be open all day. When it works the QB gets killed, but when it doesn’t it is why the Jets have trouble covering Tight Ends. The Patriots Power-Spread formation is going to be the key to victory again for this team. The Pats Tight Ends should have another important role in this game, just like in Pittsburgh. Crumpler, Gronkowski, and Hernandez will have to play vital roles for this team to win. Both blocking and receiving, and when they abandon the middle of the field the Tight Ends need to make their money. Hernandez Slants, In Cuts, Outs, Short Posts, and Crossing patterns to hit him on the run, could make for a long day for the Jets D, especially with Wes Welker slashing across the middle behind him, in front of him, and crossing him. And lets not forget Gronkowski getting down the Seam. This will be a game won by winning the battles in the areas the defense abandons to blitz. You hit these enough, and the rush slows a little, and the running game opens up for Woodhead, as BJG_E will be giving the body shots.
The defense is another matter. Lately, okay maybe a little optimistic, but lately they have been shutting down the power running game. The Pats should be able to shut down Shonn Green, but I’m afraid LT might give them some more problems. I see the Pats making the Jets pretty one dimensional. Although I worry about LT on outside runs a little. This is going to be a game won by the QBs. Sanchez has been a 2nd half quarterback lately, and this is going to be a 2nd half game. With so much on the line and the familiarity of both teams the 1st have should be a slow, ugly, slugfest where either team will be lucky to score a TD. The question is can the Pats ever-improving secondary stop the deep passes? The Jets lull you to sleep with the running game and the short pass, and then bingo-bango throw the ball over the top to Braylon Edwards and/or Santonio Holmes. Stopping the run, and keeping the passing game in front of the DBs is going to be the keys to the game for the Pats, and as long as they don’t go into that horrid prevent-A-Victory defense they should be alright. And while a particularly fat pundit said on the radio this week that all this talk about a Prevent-A-Victory defense was crap, I’m glad to see BB agreed with me. He made several adjustments to that horrid all-out retreat defense. He kept the Linebacker up by the first down marker instead of 20 yards down field, and played some man underneath. In this league you cannot abandon the 10-15 of field in front of the line of scrimmage and expect to stop anybody. Against the Lions that defense was abandoned, and if they bring it back out against Sanchez he will destroy the Pats D underneath and laugh all the way to the bank. Brady has been on a roll lately, and that makes me a little nervous. He won’t have a perfect game like he had last week. Rarely do players have their two best games of the season two weeks in a row.
This is a game that screams high score, but I think the scoring will be limited, especially in the 1st half. These division game tend to be tight contest where the defenses are so familiar with the offenses that it gets really hard to score. This is going to come as a complete shock to you, but turnovers are going to be the key to the game, and not the nice jelly filled kind either;-). The question will be who deals with the pressure in the 2nd half the best. Both teams understand that for all practical purposes their entire chance to get to the Super Bowl rests on this game. The Pats biggest advantages lay in home field advantage, and the Thanksgiving Half-Bye Week. I do not think it is wise to bet against BB and Brady after a Bye. Giving those two guys extra days to prepare is as much of a lock as you can get. I think the Pats pull it out at home rested and ready to go.
Plus, the Pats have had a much harder schedule and have had to defeat better teams that didn't self destruct at the end of games. I think the Jets record is a little more fraudulent then the Pats. The Pats haven't exactly been great, but they have beaten all the top teams in the AFC, except the Jets and KC, and have gotten better each week. While the Jets have been barely beating the lowly and incompetent teams in this league. The only team the Jets have beaten with a winning record was in week two at home against the Pats. All the other teams they have played with winning records were losses, all both of them: Ravens and Packers. Meanwhile, the Pats have been playing Playoff team after Playoff team. The Pats are a far more battle tested and battle hardened team this year than the Jets. Plus, the Pats team in week two is barely comparable the Pats team now. This future team is so much better in so many different ways I can't even count them. Take the Pats.
Of course I have to say, that I am not emotionally prepared to lose this game. If you don’t understand that statement than you are not a true Patsfan.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me: