Jets talk a lot. Patriots need to win to shut them up. The Patriots need to win big. Here's how they do it:
3. Spread the Ball on Offense - We all know the New York Jets have Darrelle Revis, possibly injured hamstring and all, and how he can shut down a team's #1 receiver. The Patriots can't let that get to them. The offense needs to spread the ball and minimize the effect that Revis has on the offensive rhythm. How can the Patriots do that? They need to be balanced in every sense of the word.
-Establish the run. If Fred Taylor can run the ball against the injured, but still clearly dominant, Jets defensive front 7, then lanes will open up in the receiving game and the Patriots will light up the scoreboard. Fred just needs to run like he did in Week 1. That's all.
-Get the ball to Randy Moss quickly and have him run all over the field. Revis was run ragged by the Baltimore Ravens and was reportedly sore and tender after the game. If the Patriots can get to Revis early, Moss should be able to exploit Revis. So don't target Moss early on. Have Moss run deep. Have him run slants. Have him change directions frequently. If he gets open, great, he'll move the chains. If not, Revis will get sore and will get sore quickly- meaning Moss would be set up for a big second half.
-Throw underneath with Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. Both of these players have had success against the Jets, especially due to Moss drawing the secondary deep. Welker and Edelman are able to get great YAC against the Jets due to how much Moss impacts the secondary's style of play. These three receivers will play off each other. If Edelman and Welker play well, that will open lanes for Moss, and vice versa.
-Use Brandon Tate. Tate will have to use his young legs and run all over the field. He'll get open with his burner speed and should draw attention away from underneath and open lanes for the running game and the short passing game.
-Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski up the middle of the field. The Jets are weak in the safety position and having Herndo and Gronk run up the middle of the field will cause mismatches and create big plays.
The entire offense needs to click together in order to overcome the tenacious Jets defense.
What else do the Patriots need to do? Find out after the jump!
2. Shut Down the Run Behind the Left Tackle/Guard - I've talked a lot about how opposing teams will take advantage of the Patriots right defensive end position, which lines up against the left tackle and guard. Look at the past two Patriots games:
Patriots vs Ravens - Wild Card: The Ravens ran towards the right side of their offensive line seven times for a total of 4 yards. You read that correctly. They ran towards the right 7 times for 4 yards. That means they ran to the left side or to the middle 45 times for 230 yards. Digest that for a bit. The Ravens averaged 5.1 yards/carry to the left and only 0.57 yards/carry to the right.
Patriots vs Cedric Benson - Week 1: Cedric Benson is the only real running back the Patriots faced last week, since he was the only running back who ran for the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half. His numbers? 3 carries for 2 yards to the right side. That's 0.7 yards/carry. To the middle? 2 carries for 7 yards (3.5 yards/carry). To the left (to the left, to the left)? 8 carries for 32 yards (4 yards/carry). Yeah. The Bengals attacked the RDE position and for good reason.
Expect more of the same from the Jets. I hope the Patriots have Brandon Spikes station himself behind Mike Wright and stop any runs in that direction. The Patriots absolutely need to take away runs to the left because that will be the only source of offense for the Jets. Take away runs to the left and the Jets won't get a first down.
1. Confuse Sanchez with Defensive Schemes - We know that Mark Sanchez really sucks as a quarterback. They key for the Patriots is to make Sanchez so terrible that he loses the game for the Jets. Force turnovers, knock him over, don't let him get into any sort of rhythm. The defense must mess with Sanchez the same way they messed with Carson Palmer in the first half. Show one thing and play another. He's not an experienced enough quarterback to read those changes and adjust before the ball's in the air- hopefully for an interception.
The defensive front 5 need to beat the Jets front 5 every time. That means Wright, Vince Wilfork, Gerard Warren, Tully Banta-Cain and whoever the other OLB is must, must, MUST get to Sanchez. Sanchez is 1/6 on third down. He's 5/10 on second down. He definitely gets worse once he becomes "the man" who has to make the play happen. So make him have to be the man. If the defensive 5 can make Sanchez's life hell, that leaves 2 players to watch the run (Spikes and Jerod Mayo) and 4 players to capitalize on Sanchez's mistakes (Darius Butler, Devin McCourty, Brandon Meriweather, Pat Chung).
Make Sanchez beat the Jets. Take advantage of his inevitable mistakes and the Patriots will win.
So spread the ball on offense to minimize the effect of Darrelle Revis, add an extra man behind the RDE to prevent runs to the left and mess with Sanchez's mind to destroy his confidence. Do those three things and the Patriots will win.