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Blog

‘Across Enemy Lines,’ Act III, Scene I

Posted by jetsstaff on January 13, 2011 – 4:49 pm

Leading up to both of the Jets-Patriots regular-season meetings, newyorkjets.com participated in an “Across Enemy Lines” content exchange with New England Sports Network. And as the tiebreaker nears for the division rivals, we visit with NESN’s Jeff Howe, the station’s Patriots reporter, a third and final time. Today we present Jeff’s answers to six of our questions. Friday Eric Allen will get last licks at a half dozen of Howe’s queries.

1. Do you get the sense that the Jets have already taken the Pats’ best shot while the Pats know they’re going to see a different club than they saw on Dec. 6?

It’s definitely tough to imagine the Patriots playing any better than they did in Week 13, and I don’t think there’s anyone in the football world who thinks the Patriots are 42 points better than the Jets. But that’s a big difference to make up, and the Patriots have been a very consistent team for the last two months. That game put little doubt in my mind that the Patriots’ post-Randy Moss transformation has been completed and they’re simply a better team than the Jets.

2. When was the last time Devin McCourty looked like a rookie cornerback? To what do he and his coaches attribute his rapid rise into a Pro Bowl defender?

Well, he had one bad drive against the Ravens in Week 6, but other than that, he’s never looked like a rookie. On the very first play of the year, Carson Palmer threw a deep ball down the left sideline to Terrell Owens and McCourty knocked it aside. He’s been a tremendous player from the jump, but his Pro Bowl ability came out around Week 7 in San Diego. That’s when he picked off his first of seven passes (the excellent tackler has also forced two fumbles) and went from being a reliable cornerback to a ballhawk.

At some point in every young player’s career, he talks about the game slowing down for him, but with McCourty, you could actually see it happening in the middle of the season, and his rise has been fun to watch.

3. The Packers obviously lost to the Patriots up there in Week 16, but they seemed to have them on their heels. Can the Jets take anything away from the way the Packers attacked that night?

Rookie inside linebacker Brandon Spikes was suspended for four games, and that was the only time when an opponent really dismantled the Patriots’ run defense from start to finish. Spikes is a great run stopper —- he is spelled on passing downs by Gary Guyton — and the Patriots were also missing a number of defensive linemen that night. So it was tough to tell if it was something the Packers did or if the Patriots were undermanned.

Whatever the case, there’s no way the Packers should have had that much success running the ball in New England, and that’s the only way the Jets can beat the Patriots, whose defense is most vulnerable against balanced offenses. Quarterback Matt Flynn, in his first career start, was efficient in the short passing game to complement the run, and that’s what Mark Sanchez, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene have to emulate.

4. Will the Patriots load up on the run and play man and Cover-3 on the outside?

Building off the last question, the Patriots’ first priority will be stopping the run, but in pass defense, they’ll zero in on Dustin Keller again. Keller killed the Pats in Week 2, but he was a non-factor in Week 13. Once Sanchez showed he was too erratic throwing to the outside, the Patriots knew they could continue attacking from the inside out. That will be their most likely game plan again.

5. Tom Brady didn’t throw Darrelle Revis’ way back in December. Peyton Manning stayed away from Revis last Saturday night. If you’re the Jets, what would you do with Revis against this prolific offense?

I’d have him shadow Wes Welker and hope Antonio Cromartie plays better than he did in Week 13. There is much more to the Patriots’ passing game than Brady to Welker, but Welker is still the guy who can drive the offense. By removing Welker from the equation, the Jets will put pressure on Deion Branch and the young receivers and tight ends, and while the youth movement has been strong, there have been times when they’ve struggled with drops and poor routes.

However, if the Patriots’ supporting cast plays well like it has for much of the last two months, I’d start moving Revis around to at least force the Patriots to think a little more. I think everyone basically assumes Revis will cancel out Welker, and that’s why Cromartie is the most important corner for the Jets on Sunday.

6.  What’s happening Sunday?

Patriots 31, Jets 13. The Patriots are simply the better team.


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Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments »


23 Responses to “‘Across Enemy Lines,’ Act III, Scene I”

  1. By sal on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    What the mighty Fransesa was not part of this?

  2. By Bleedsgreenandwhite on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Not sure how the patriots are a better team, personnel wise the jets are worlds ahead of the patriots aside from 2 positions (QB and head coach). Rex needs to come back down to earth and stop blitzing against tom brady it doesnt work like it does against every other QB. Play the patriots like we played the colts, and we should win.

  3. By Ilovethejets on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Come Sunday…..They will play like a JET for 60min…..and WIN!

  4. By Peter on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Things JETS need to do to BEAT the PATRIOTS.

    1. OFFENSE is ALL about (BLOCKING, BLOCKING, BLOCKING). The Jets (OL, TEs, WRs) ALL BLOCKING. And they must STAY on their BLOCKS.

    2. BILL BELICHICK will load UP the BOX and STOP the RUN game for the JETS. This will FORCE SANCHEZ to have WIN the game with his ARM.

    3. MARK SANCHEZ will have to play well. SANCHEZ will have to throw (ACCURATELY) and NOT throw the football (HIGH).

    4. (No FUMBLES) or TURN overs from the JETS OFFENSE.

    5. JETS DEFENSE will have to (TACKLE and STRIP) the football, and put PRESSURE on TOM BRADY.

  5. By steven on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    If you look at the game of the Patriots with Cleveland, they Browns disguised the defense so well Brady couldn’t make throws. There defense looked like they were just hanging out at the line having a smoke until the exact second the ball was hiked and then they did their blitzes and because Brady couldn’t tell what scheme they were running, he couldn’t change any plays before the snap or do anything differently. The defense had the edge. The Jets can do the same thing. Mangini called it “If you aren’t lying, you aren’t trying” defense. It worked! Brady has nothing to read to he has no idea what to do except react. Hope the Jets do something like that this game

  6. By steven on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    I think this game is the “real SuperBowl” for the New York Jets. I think if you can beat the best team in the NFL which are the New England Patriots, you not only deserve to go to the SuperBowl, but you will even win it. You have the talent, You have the defense, you have the offense, you have the special teams, you have the opportunity, but do you have the heart. Will you put it all out on the line for your New York Fans? Will you put your helmets on the ball every tackle, and create turnovers? will you hit hard like battering rams? Will you Jam all the receivers at the line? Will operate like a military team? Do you have the heart? You will have to play with all your hearts and all your minds to beat this team. This is your SuperBowl.

  7. By scjoe on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    I haven’t seen any “expert” yet who picks the Jets in this game, so why should these NE writers, who ever they are, be any different? Typical home town reporting. You know what the perfect ending to this game would be? The Jets score a TD with 1 second left on the clock to make the score 38-0 and go for the 2 pt conversion. THAT, would be my dream game and dream ending.

  8. By Gregg from CA on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Is this the same guy that said he expected a pretty even game last time? I think he’s a bit full of “team pride” this time around, and not looking at reality.

  9. By dougmc on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Walk the Talk now…Cromartie needs to take the ball away a few times here. Plant Brady’s hair in the ground and see if it grows there. Take him out. Third,fourth and fifth DB’s need a perfect game covering 3rd receiver, TE’s and Backs while LB’s put on pressure and stop the run.We are just warming up and the Pats had a nice rest to cool off. Sanchize needs to be Great as well as the running game and we can win this. This time it is personel and we need to bring them down a peg or two. Let’s Go Jets…
    J——E——T——S…JETS…JETS…JETS…!!!

  10. By Tom Spicer on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I honestly love it that all the so called experts are picking the Pats to win big. That tells me 1 of 2 things either the game will come donw to the wire or the Jets win outright. The so called experts are ALWAYS wrong with there picks.

  11. By waldo on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with steven, THIS IS THE JETS SUPERBOWL! Play like it!

  12. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    One thing I’m very glad to see emerging in the press is that Brady’s minimal INTs, while a great stat, also reflect game plans that see him throwing almost all passes of consistently zero risk. That’s worked fine for them but if a team with two great corners could get a little more pass rush, shut down the downfield passes better, and put some points on the board in the 1st quarter, NE’s O might not look so intimidating. Which goes to Edwards’ mild criticism of Schotty today about why we haven’t been able to score in the 1st. That’s a good one to go into after the season, while I completely agree with Edwards, of course, I’m not sure a statement like that to the press is very useful three days before the biggest Jet game in decades.

  13. By IRA on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    LT said it perfect today. They must impose their will and gut this out. To me this is like Rocky vs Clubber Lang. Everybody knows the movie. The Jets must take everything the Pats hit them with and keep it close early take it and fight back and then finally KNOCK them out.
    Jets will win this game. I believe in Rex and the team.
    GO JETS!!!!!

  14. By scjoe on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I have to retract my earlier blog. Herm Edwards predicted a Jet win. Way to go Herm! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!

  15. By Joe in Richomd on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    We finish 11-5, go beat Peyton in his own house and the ‘experts’ still treat us like a 4-12 team. The blasted seahawks are getting more respect. Well, let the pats moment be the 45-3 win. Keep taking us lightly, you’ll pay on Sunday. Our moment will be playing in the AFC Championship game, all the sweeter knowing the pats are sitting home, watching. We’ll we see what the ‘experts’ say after we win on Sunday.

  16. By scjoe on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    64tom, just a last word from a previous post about the current QB rating system. Regardless of how it is designed, when it was designed, who thinks it is fair and who doesn’t, let us remember that this system is the one that is in place for ALL 32 teams, ALL get rated in the exact same manner, therefore it is as fair as it can possibly be. Every QB and every OC for that matter, has the same opportunity’s and the same disadvantage’s to “manage” the numbers, so to speak, under this system, if that is even remotely on their minds. Now, Is it an exact science? No! But it is exactly the same for all, and normally, the stats don’t tell to much of a lie.

  17. By GaryC on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    best way for the jets to be brady is for his girlfriend to call him to say she has two tickets to a sunday matinee on broadway and he needs to cancel all previous engagements.

  18. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think the QB rating system is entirely bogus, scjoe, but it does seem to emphasize completion percentage a little too much at the expense of most everything else, which is plain stupid. Sanchez’s 54% isn’t good enough, of course, but a QB who leads a team to a bunch of comeback victories like he did is completing passes in truly desperate, high-risk, “gotta-have-it” situations, and the rating system in no way reflects this. Some of those QBs ranked higher than MS haven’t even tried to make the passes he did to win those games, much less made them. So I’ll go along with Spicer on the rating system to a point.

  19. By Mike Jet Vet on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Have to say all the experts even many Jet fans keep talking about the Pats like man for man they are twice as big faster smarter and if we don’t play 4 times better its not posible to beat them..here’s what I say take that crap and stuff it we are equal to them in every way or better except for QB and I say maybe Head coach even though I’ll still take Rex over the guy who finds it very hard to ACT LIKE A MAN WHEN HE LOSES we play our game Sanchez execute’s no stupiod penilties bad refs we win no no doubt in mind

  20. By Gmany3k on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    right MikeJV we do think for ourselves not sound bites.

  21. By scjoe on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    64tom, I just had to respond to your response just one more time. Again, the system is the same for all 32 QBs around the league, and it is hard for me to believe that Mark Sanchez is the only QB who is forced to make certain type throws in a “gotta have it” situation with the game on the line, and none of the other 31 are never put in that same situation. Not over a 16 game season. There are some teams QBs who are asked to do it more then MS has, there are some that have been asked to do it less then he has. What makes him any different? Why should that one aspect of the game effect the whole QB rating system that much anyway?

  22. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    Funny, MJV, I was thinking a little along the same lines this afternoon, suddenly the entire press is talking like this NE team can’t be beat, like we didn’t beat them once, like CLE didn’t completely befuddle and embarrass them. Then I remembered that the press sounded exactly the same way about Manning less than a week ago. Yes, it’s curious that the press should fall so deeply in line behind (if not in love with) a team whose HC cheats, doesn’t honor a contract or value sportsmanship and a QB who acts like a brat on the field and who, I might add, was the 1st person this year to use the word “hate” in the context of this rivalry. So yeah, if Sanchez plays like we know he can and we execute and stay sharp across the board, we can win it.

  23. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    I won’t go overboard on Sanchez and the rating system, scjoe, I personally want to see him up there in the top ten next year with close to a 60% completion record at least. But he did probably lead the league in comeback victories this year and may well have made a lot more pressure throws of the kind that the rating system doesn’t account for than any other QB. A better rating system would also take into account throws in certain down situations, garbage-time stats, and so so. Certainly Sanchez’s 4th-quarter stats this year, for example, must be right up there with anybody’s.

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