Jets vs. Patriots – Final Notes

John Hargarden with final notes and a preview for Jets vs. Patriots

The biggest game of the season for the New York Jets will be on Sunday as they make the trek to New England to visit the undefeated Patriots. This is a game that the Jets can win…what do they need to do to make this happen? Let’s take a look…

Offense – Chris Ivory comes into Sunday as one of the best RBs in the league. He has 460 yards on the year, which is 4th in the league. Before the Washington game, many people said Ivory has no speed off the edge, that he is strictly a bruiser between the tackles. Ivory put that myth to rest with several rushes off the edge and consistently reached the 2nd level. It is also possible that Stevan Ridley could see his first action of the season against his former team on Sunday. I believe the Patriots defensive plan is going to be to stop Ivory and force Fitzpatrick to throw the ball more than 30 times on Sunday.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has not faced the Patriots in 3 years. His last meeting was in 2012 where he threw for over 300 yards and 2 TD’s. As we look at the Jets passing attack, we look at Brandon Marshall, who comes in with 37 receptions on the season.  gainst New England in his career, he has averaged a little less than 10 targets a game with a average of 75 yards a game. Marshall will be going up against Malcom Butler who has allowed a TD in 4 out of the 5 games this season.

Eric Decker, going into Sunday, is going to cause some matchup problems for New England. Last year in their first meeting, Decker had 4 receptions for 65 yards. Now with the addition of Marshall, Decker is going to cause problems for any defense. Fitzpatrick and Decker have had a connection especially in the red zone with that post pattern in the middle of the end zone, watch out for that on Sunday.

Defense – Tom Brady is 21-7 in his career against the Jets. He is averaging over 230 passing yards as well. The key to stopping Brady is causing pressure, especially up the middle and getting Brady off his spot. The more often that happens, the more often he will makes mistakes. In my opinion, a huge key for the Jets is going to be stopping RB Dion Lewis out of the backfield, he has 26 receptions on the year only 2nd to Julian Edelman.

In his 10 games verses the Jets, Edelman has had a average of 6 targets a game.  Look for Darrelle Revis to be on him for a good part of the day. With Buster Skrine probable for Sunday, he is a major key especially on passing situations and looking to contain the Patriots’ short routes.  For any defense, stopping Rob Gronkowsi is hard to do. I could see Gronk being covered by Gilchrist and even Cromartie is different situations.

The Patriots are shuffling their offensive line again due to injuries and do have some weaknesses. The Jets must exploit those on Sunday with constant pressure from the defensive line. Watch out for Sheldon Richardson in his second game back with pressure up the middle. Look for Todd Bowles to use his exotic blitz packages early and often, giving Brady multiple looks.

Prediction: The line for this game is the Patriots -8, which is WAY TOO MUCH.  I am not too sure why it is still at -8.  The forecast is for a chance of rain during the game, which should be a advantage for the Jets with Ivory at RB.  The Jets must keep the Patriots offense off the field. The Jets only had 1 penalty last week, they must keep that up.  Do not give the Patriots extra chances on offense.  This is going to be a close game and field position is going to be crucial.  I say Fitzpatrick leads the Jets on a late 4th quarter drive and the Jets D stops Brady to close out the game. Jets 31 Patriots 27