Better late than never, here are 12 predictions for tonight’s showdown, which is arguably the most hyped Jets regular season game in franchise history — How long have we been waiting for this game by the way?
1. Tonight will be the night Mark Sanchez puts to rest any lingering questions about him as one of the best young quarterbacks in football. He has exceeded everybody’s expectations throughout the season and will continue his strong 2010 season by throwing for over 250 yards, 2 touchdowns, and not having more than one turnover.
2. Tom Brady is going to put together a stronger than usual performance against a Rex Ryan defense. The Jets secondary is getting his “A” game tonight. Brady will also throw for over 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns. However, he will throw his fifth interception of the season tonight.
3. Shonn Greene will lead the Jets in carries and rushing yards. LaDainian Tomlinson will be involved in the offense but primarily through the passing game. Tomlinson will have less than 10 carries but at least 5 receptions.
4. Danny Woodhead will have no more than 60 total yards of offense but will score a touchdown, followed by mass hysteria from Jets fans on Twitter.
5. New England’s leading receiver will be Aaron Hernandez or Rob Gronkowski. Darrelle Revis will spend the bulk of the night on Deion Branch and Wes Welker. Antonio Cromartie will either be covering one of the tight ends, Brandon Tate, or Branch.
6. Jerricho Cotchery will be reliable on punt returns, not muffing any but also not providing any big plays. He will grab at least three receptions in his return to the Jets offense.
7. BenJarvus Green-Ellis won’t have more than 45 yards rushing. The Patriots will be largely one dimensional on offense throughout this game.
8. Both teams won’t hesitate to use trick plays on offense or special teams. Keep an eye on for reverses, toss passes, reverse passes, surprise onside kicks, fake field goals, fake punts or anything along those lines.
9. Jason Taylor will record his fifth sack of the season tonight but overall the Jets will struggle to consistently get to Brady.
10. Mark Sanchez won’t be sacked more than once by New England’s weak pass rush.
11. Both field goal kickers will miss at least one very make-able kick tonight.
12. Your final score? I am taking the Jets 34-31 in a shoot-out and in one of the best games played of the 2010 NFL regular season. This will be a landmark win in the young Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era.