The Patriots will be trying to move past the loss of Stevan Ridley and Jerod Mayo and they'll have another divisional dogfight on their hands before getting some extra time to recover. Rex Ryan and the Jets will throw everything they have at the Patriots and, if history is any guide, their current 1-5 record means nothing for how well they'll play New England.
The Jets will likely try and mimic the Chiefs defensive game plan from Monday Night Football as the Chiefs current defensive coordinator is a branch off of the Rex Ryan coaching tree. The question is if the Jets have enough personnel to slow down the Patriots.
Hopefully the Patriots can walk away with their fifth win on the season and third in a row. Here's five points for victory.
1) Don't abandon the run. It's easy to do. The Jets have one of the top defensive line and run stopping units in the league. The Patriots will be without Ridley. Regardless, the Patriots need to keep running the ball. The play action is how the Patriots passing attack will create windows down the field for the passing game and it's where Tom Brady is most effective.
2) Protect Tom Brady. One way the Jets always remain competitive is by rattling Brady. They get in his head. They spook him with phantom pass rushes and he crumbles. If the Patriots can stand strong in the pocket and give Brady a couple positive drives early in the game, it will help his composure for the rest of the game and make the passing game all the more potent.
3) Don't sit back in coverage. The Patriots challenged Derek Carr to beat the defense, and Carr took what was in front of him. The Patriots can't sit back against Geno Smith because you can be certain the Jets coaching staff will have easy outlet throws on every down. The Patriots need to attack both the receivers and the backfield in order to get Geno to throw under pressure and force him to make a mistake.
4) Watch out for pick plays. The Jets love to utilize combo routes to spring a receiver free from tight coverage. The Patriots secondary will need to watch out for these quick throws as the Bills had a lot of success doing this on Sunday. The Jets have a lot of players who are dangerous in the open field, namely Jace Amaro and Jeremy Kerley, so it's important the Patriots secondary work on their communication and switch up their man and zone coverages as necessary to eliminate the quick passes.
5) Stout up the middle. The Patriots will miss Jerod Mayo in the run defense so it makes sense the Jets will try and attack the middle of the field. Chris Ivory is a hammer of a running back so the Patriots will have to stay strong up the middle. Expect the Patriots to feature a lot of heavy fronts to prevent the Jets from gaining any traction up the middle of the field. If the Jets control the ball and control the run game, they can limit the Patriots possessions and keep it a low scoring affair. If the Patriots force the Jets to abandon the run and throw the ball, then New England will be in a strong position to win.