TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 7: New England Patriots Vs. New York Jets

Patriots
Jets
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v New York Jets
Quarterback
Winner Tom Brady has to have a bitter taste in his mouth after the Patriots blew a 24-23 decision at Seattle. Brady made several uncharacteristic mistakes and he should be primed to have a big game against the Jets – especially since there is no Darelle Revis in the Jets secondary. Brady has excellent touch and reads defenses as well as any quarterback in the game.
Mark Sanchez may or may not be the right quarterback for the Jets’ offense. In the Week Six win over the Colts, the Jets dominated but Sanchez had a strange stat line, completing 11-of-18 passes for 82 yards with 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. That’s not going to get it done at New England.
Offense
Versatility is the word in New England this season. The Patriots have added a powerful running game with Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden. Still, when the Patriots want to attack, they go to the air. Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are two of Brady’s favorite targets. Wes Welker still makes the tough catches on third down.
The running game was dormant for the Jets until the Indianapolis Colts came visiting in Week Six. Shonn Greene showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He rushed for 161 yards and 3 TDs and is determined to show that he is not a one-week wonder. Jeremy Kerley is probably the best of a substandard group of receivers.
Defense
The Patriots have made a concerted effort to improve their run defense and they have been successful. However, they are just as vulnerable against the pass as they were a year ago. Cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington struggle when it comes to one-on-one coverage and receivers usually break open against them.
Winner The Jets are coming off one of their best defensive games against the Colts. However, they are in much tougher against New England and they are going to have to deal with New England’s solid running attack. Strong safety Yeremiah Bell is a big-time hitter while Antonio Cromartie is still an excellent cover man.
Special Teams
Winner Stephen Gostkowski has made 14-of-17 field goal attempts this season, but his miss against Arizona in Week Two cost the Patriots a victory. Punter Zoltan Mesko is a solid directional kicker who gets rid of the ball quickly.
The Jets need to use special teams as a weapon if they are going to have a chance against the explosive Patriots. That may mean throwing the ball out of punt formation with Tim Tebow. The Jets did that against Indianapolis and they may have more trick plays in store for the Patriots.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
2 out of 4

Under the best of circumstances, this would be a tough matchup for the Jets. The Patriots are obviously vulnerable against the pass, but the Jets don’t throw the ball well. Everything else favors New England. The Patriots don’t like the Jets – and the feeling is mutual – but the Patriots will take the field in an angry mood because of their Week Six defeat at the hands of the Seahawks.

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