Patriots Vs. the
September 15th, 2010
This is most likely going to be my theme all season. The keys to the game defensively are the outside positions. The problem is that D'Brickashaw Ferguson is a super athletic finesse blocker, just he type of blocker that gives TB-C problems, so they will need some pressure form the other side to help him out. That does not appear to be an option for this defense this year. The Pats secondary played great last week. However, you can't expect them to play great every week. Look for them to struggle a little more this week.
I felt more comfortable about this game before the Jets were out bullied by the Ravens. All to often fans judge a team solely by what happened the previous week. If a team stunk last week, then they should stink this week. When a team plays great last week then they should play great again this week. When the opposite is usually true. A team rarely plays it's best games two weeks in a row. When a team gets beat bad last week, they are usually pissed and looking for revenge this week. The Ravens and Jets offense faced maybe the two best defense in the league last week, and neither offense was as bad as it looked last week. The question is can the Pats defense bully the Jets offense like the Ravens did.
I don't think they can. I like the Pat's defense. It is younger and faster then it has been for a while, and looks like it is finally transitioning from its' post Dynasty blues. However, it is a super physical defense that can physical beat up an offense? Not yet. The Jets have all the emotional momentum and pressure on their side: they are home, they were embarrassed last week on Monday Night Football, and they have stand up for all the inciting Super Bowl bragging they did on their little HBO show. If they lose this game, they are clearly not Super Bowl bound and they know it. look for the Jets defense to bombard the Pat's offense, and attack them with everything they've got.
The Jets blitz
scheme is to overload one side of the line and try and get a guy unblocked, or have the
O-Line shift to one side and then not bring everyone. "I'd say the
bigger problem is just blocking them," BB said in his Conference call.
"Blocking them and getting open and blocking them in the running game,
blocking them in the passing game, getting open. But they definitely give
you some recognition problems and tough looks and move people around and try
to defeat your protection schemes and that type of thing, so that's very
challenging, too. You can't afford to turn a guy…it's bad enough that you
have to block them, but if you a turn a guy loose and miss him completely
then you have no chance. First thing we have to do is get them identified
and get them picked up." They like to attack the edges. Overload an
edge and see how the O-Line response. The good news is that both Stephen
Neal and Alge Crumpler were not listed on the injury report and both will
start the game. Their blocking prowess will be severely needed on Sunday. Against
this defense Crumpler could not have a single pass reception and be a
dominate player n the passing game. He will be chipping in on the pass
protection a lot this week.
The two key offensive players in the game, besides the Offensive Line, are Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk. When a team over-blitzes, the most common tactic to slow down the passrush is to run Draws and Screens. This tactic hopefully make the over-aggressive defenders have to slow down a little and think, rather than just attack. Kevin Faulk is a master at running both. His primary role this week will be to run Screens and Draws behind the passrush, and blitz pick up. He is their best 3rd-down back, and he will be Brady's BBF this week, or the Patriots Offense will be in trouble. When a team is over-blitzing, the point is to put not just physical pressure on the QB but mental pressure as well. Ryan's strategy defensively is that the more you force the QB to make quicker decisions than he is comfortable making, the more likely he will make a mistake. So the Wide Receivers will be running shorter blitz-read routes, and double-moves. Wes Welker is not the best WR on the team that honor goes to Randy Moss. However, he is the best in the league at running short patterns, especially over the middle. The biggest flaw with the Jets blitzing scheme is that Ryan likes to double blitz the two inside linebackers. This is one of the main ways he overloads the O-Line. However, when he does this it opens up a huge hole right in the middle of the field. A huge hole that Wes Welker has to fill repeatedly. Look for Welker to have a huge game catching balls right in the middle of the field as the Jets over-blitz.
The Jets offensively are not going to play as bad this week as they did last week. Shonn Green is not going to have two fumbles. In fact, he is going to be looking to make up for his terrible showing last week. Mark Sanchez is not as bad a QB as he played last week. You are never as good a player on you best day, or as bad a player on your worst day. The good news for Pats fans (though that doesn't sound right) is that it looked to me like his bad knee was giving out on him a little. On his really egregious throws, it sure looked like his front plant leg was a little wobbly, and clearly buckled on his wild throw 40 yards out of bounds. If his knee is not sound, and my opinion is pretty much all speculation, the Jets could be in trouble.
Ryan is a defense first coach, so it's no surprise that his offensive strategy is to run the ball and then play action pass over the top of the defense. Sanchez clearly had trouble throwing deep. If this continues the Jets offense is a disaster, because if you can't make a team pay for over playing the run by throwing deep, or they will not back off the Line Of Scrimmage. The Patriots defense should have 7 or 8 defenders in the box all game and dare Sanchez to try and go deep. So the Corners will put in a lot of man-to-man coverage, and the outside linebacker should be trying to hit the QB all game.
The keys to the Jets winning offensively will be can Sanchez throw the ball deep and force the Pats defense to back off the LOS, or can Green and Tomlinson run the ball on the Pats defense that will be looking to make the Jets offense one-dimensional by selling-out to stop the run. The key to the game defensively for the Jets will be can they beat Brady into submission. Their defense is wild, out of control, and out of their minds. This works well for them when things are going well, but when things start going bad they will eat themselves alive. Look for the Pats to spread it out wide early on offense to try and make things go bad for the Jets defense as early as possible. The pressure is all on the Jets in this game.
Okay, now it's time for the last member of the Laurence Maroney fan club to whine. BB what are you doing? You have put more pressure on Brady than he already has, and he has too much pressure on him already. Okay, now we only have 3 and half running backs on the roster, as Fred Taylor is already injured and over thirty. In case you didn't know, injuries don't get easier after thirty, they get worst. Plus, it just a matter of time until Sammy Morris gets injured as well, and then it will be Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis and throwing the ball 90% of the time. Maroney may have been the most mentally mercurial player on the Pats roster, but when the old guys get injured he would have been a good starter who could take some pressure off of Brady. BJ G-E is a good back, but he doesn't have the speed to be a great back. Getting a 4th Round pick for a guy who would have soon been your starting RB or primary back up is not a smart move. And another thing, what is up with the release of Marques Murrell? Now I admit that I completely over rate him, because I went to the first Preseason game and saw his Sack. However, that leaves 3 and half Outside Linebackers on the roster, if you count Gary Guyton as half an OLB and half an ILB like me. Maybe I'm crazy but I always thought the blitzing OLB was one of the top keys to a 3-4 defense? Now they go into a game against their top rival without a back up for both OLB positions? The good news is that his locker has not been cleaned out do he will be back next week. The Pats had sign Quinn Ojinnaka to the roster or they would have lost his rights. This whine has been brought to you by the now defunct Laurence Maroney Fan Club.
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