After what was a somewhat expected and hum-drum “trap game” against the Steelers following a short-week in which they pulled out a thrilling Monday Night victory on the road against the Falcons, the Jets dust themselves off as they prepare to take on the very banged up New England Patriots for the final time this regular season. Despite the fact that, in the most predictable fashion, Rob Gronkowski is set to make his season debut, the Patriots have suffered a rash of injuries to key players recently that make it feel as though the stars are aligning once again for the Jets but we can get into that later but for now, here’s what you need to know
JETS – Santonio Holmes and Greg Salas OUT
PATS – Danny Amendola, Tommy Kelly, Leon Washington are OUT. Aqib Talib is DOUBTFUL.
Story Lines of Note:
Picks (If You Care About Such Things):
Quote of the Week:
“He really wants this game. I can tell he really wants this game. He was like, ‘Rest your legs and go home. Don’t do nothing for your wife. Say: ‘Baby, next week. I’m going to do it next week. I’m going to take out the trash next week. I’ll take the kids to practice next week. But I’ve got to rest for this game.’ I’m going to tell him to put it on paper, so when I give it to my wife, I can be like, ‘Hey, Rex said that I don’t got to take out the trash.’ So he might get a call from my wife.”
– Josh Cribbs on Rex’s edict to “take it easy this week
Dan’s “Two Cents” (Maybe Three Cents Today):
Every year for the past decade and change, the Jets main impediment to contending for the AFC East crown, besides their propensity to throw up all over themselves in big spots has been that Kremlin-esque regime up in Foxboro. Yes, ever since Bill Belichick resigned as “HC of NYJ” he has haunted Jets fans from the comfort of his trademark ratty hoodie. Every year it seems like the Jets find the Patriots in a seemingly vulnerable position only to somehow screw it up (see: Matt Cassel, Butt Fumble, 2010 Monday Night Debacle, OT Loss last year). The Patriots have proved to be an irremovable thorn in the side of the Jets recently as the Jets have not beaten New England since the 2010 AFC Divisional Round otherwise known as Bart Scott’s “Can’t Wait” game.
It once again feel as though the Jets have the Patriots right where they want them: playing in their building with a very banged up defense that will be without Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, and Aqib Talib. Of course one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets, Rob Gronkowski will be making his return but where one comes back another will be sidelined as Danny Amendola is unlikely to play while dealing with a concussion. I would imagine that Rex will be assembling his own defensive think-tank for this game and will be throwing the proverbial “kitchen sink” at Tom Brady in an attempt to make him incredibly uncomfortable and hopefully the crowd will oblige and make it very difficult for the Pats Ugg-Wearing signal caller.
If you ask me, this game will once again come down to the Offense and their ability to exploit a Pats defense that is hurting especially up the middle. You would expect Marty Mornhinweg to stay committed to the run but without the conservatism he showed last week. If the Jets are going to pull this one out, he can’t shy away from being aggressive but that also means being smart with that aggression and not throwing the ball on 2nd and short in a close game when you need to run the clock out. As always if Geno doesn’t turn the ball over and if the Jets’ Defense can come up with one of their own, things should be interesting but I you always have to have lingering doubt during Pats’ week so how this game really turns out is anyone’s guess.