I exchanged five questions with Patriots blogger Eric Cunningham of http://Patschowder.com about tomorrow’s game, here is our conversation:
PC: I read in the Boston Globe yesterday that Braylon Edwards’ arrival in New York may be too much for the rookie quarterback to handle. It’s sort of like a mini-TO effect. They’ve gone 1-4 with him. What are your thoughts on all of this?TOJ: I don’t agree with that assertion at all. Edwards has been a good soldier since arriving and is clearly trying to convince the Jets he is worthy of a long term contract. Sanchez and Edwards have appeared to get along very well and Edwards was one of the first players to get his back after the Buffalo game when Sanchez threw 5 INTs. He also hasn’t complained at all about the number of touches he receives, even though he probably should be getting more. Edwards main focus when talking to the press has been his desire to win. I don’t think the Jets are 1-4 in their last 5 because of Braylon, I think it is because they can’t close teams out.
PC: In my opinion, I think the Jets biggest problem is the loss of Kris Jenkins. Is this their biggest problem?
TOJ: Their biggest problem is they don’t know how to win close games. They lost four games on the last play. Their defense laid an egg with the game on the line against Miami on Monday night and against Jacksonville, Sanchez, Ben Hartsock, and their special teams choked in OT to lose to the Bills and they couldn’t finish off a game winning drive at home against Miami.
PC: Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. How do you really feel about your head coach was crying at his latest press conference?TOJ: Well, he didn’t cry at a press conference. He cried in a meeting with the team on Monday and it was leaked to the press. I don’t have a strong opinion of it, we all knew Rex was an emotional guy when he was hired so this is part of what you get. I will love it if the Jets win on Sunday and hate it if they lose.
PC: Shonn Greene has disappeared since his big breakout game in week 7. Is he not the right fit, or are the Jets just dropping the committee and planning on Thomas Jones the rest of the way?
TOJ: Greene has ran a little timid since fumbling against Miami in week 8. Jones receives the bulk of the carries because he is playing at such a high level. However, I would still expect Greene to get his usual 8-10 touches this weekend, which is fine for a rookie learning on the job behind a pro-bowl caliber running back.
PC: Lastly, I asked my Twitter followers what they would want to know from the Jets perspective, and @mndTiiu asked “Has Mark Sanchez met, exceeded, or fallen short of your expectations?”TOJ: He has fell slightly short. He is turning the ball over more than I was hoping for and has made a few immature mistakes (eating a hot dog and running a scripted press conference). However, he has shown plenty of potential and intangibles and I still believe the Jets did the right thing by trading up for him. We will learn alot about him this weekend in the hostile conditions of New England.
TOJ: What is your opinion of Belichick’s decision on Sunday night to go for it on 4th and 2?
PC: I can’t honestly say that I loved the call, but I can say that I am less disappointed in the loss because of it. I love the fact that the Patriots have a coach that is willing to go out and win games as opposed to play safe and try not to lose them. In Sunday’s situation, I am pretty confident that Peyton Manning would have scored a touchdown from 60-yards out if he they had punted the ball anyway. Their best shot to win the game was to go for it by putting the ball in the hands of one of the best quarterbacks in the league and they did. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out.
TOJ: What is the biggest difference between the Pats team the Jets beat in week two and the Pats team the Jets are going to face this week?
PC: The big difference is Tom Brady. That Jets game early on was his first real test. Now that we are 10 weeks into the season Brady is playing at a much higher level. Also, the linebacking core has gotten healthier with Jerod Mayo back in the middle as things have started to fall into place around him.
TOJ: Why won’t anybody in New England give Darrelle Revis any respect? Moss hasn’t done much of anything in his last four games against the Jets, especially when Revis is on him so why won’t anybody give him credit?
PC: Well, I for one will give him credit. The guy is a beast and I hate seeing him on the other side of the field. However, I think the Patriots players not giving him credit is all psychological coach talk. If Belichick can get the guys believing that he’s not good, then he isn’t good. Right?
TOJ: How do you feel about Laurence Maroney being your lead back going into the stretch run of the season? Do you think he will be phased out of the offense or remain the primary ball carrier?
PC: He makes me nervous. I was very high on Sammy Morris coming into this season. That worked for all of one game before he was banged up. What I can say about Maroney is that it has never been as big a question of whether or not he can play in the NFL, but whether or not he can stay healthy. So far, he’s healthy and the production is coming as a result of that. That being said, I would love to have a better insurance policy.
TOJ: Prediction for the game?
PC: This one is in Foxboro and the Jets are fading fast. It’s a win for the Patriots for sure, however, the margin of victory is never a big one for these two teams. I’ll say 24-17 Patriots.
Enough Talking About This Game, Let’s Go Already