Jets vs. Patriots Q&A – Featuring Mike Dussault of Pats Propaganda

Joe Caporoso and Mike Dussault of Pats Propaganda exchange Q&As on the upcoming New York Jets vs. New England Patriots matchup…

We spoke with our old friend Mike Dussault of the always excellent Pats Propaganda this week to help prep you for the upcoming Jets vs. Patriots matchup. Make sure to give Mike a follow! 

What’s gone wrong with the Jets this year? Even I am shocked (and yes, a bit dismayed) that they’ve fallen apart and now I’m seeing calls for Bowles to be fired. How did it come to this so quickly? (MD)

To start, they have the worst quarterback in the NFL by a decent sized margin. It is hard to appreciate just how bad Ryan Fitzpatrick has been without watching him week to week but it has been ugly. The Jets are basically starting every game with an anchor tied to their foot at the bottom of a lake with him under center. Outside of that, they have had severe regression in key areas like redzone efficiency and turnover margin coupled with player regression from Darrelle Revis, Calvin Pryor, Brandon Marshall and Marcus Gilchrist among others. So basically, everything is broken. Bowles is becoming the primary scapegoat because he’s been bad this year but few people want to dig deeper into the larger problems with this roster. (JC)

How does this season’s Patriots team compare to last year’s? Is their defense really that much of a problem area that you wouldn’t consider them AFC favorites? (JC)

Offensively it looks like they can overcome just about anything and that’s entirely because of their health. Yeah, Gronk popped a lung and looks like he’ll miss his second-straight game, but otherwise it’s been full speed ahead, unlike last year’s decimation. Martellus Bennett has done everything asked of him and has been a big problem for opponents both with his blocking and catching. Dion Lewis returned last week and had eight touches. He looked like the same exciting player who was setting a record pace for missed tackles. Add in Chris Hogan and rookie Malcolm Mitchell who have both fit in really well, along with LeGarrette Blount, who’s on pace for a career season, and the Pats have come a long way from needing to over rely on Edelman and Amendola. And yes, Brady still looks like Brady.

However the defense has all of our heads spinning. This was supposed to be a culmination year, and instead it’s been a dismantling and regression. Yes, they’re 3rd in points allowed and that’s significant, but have gone from 10th on third down to 21st, and have forced just two turnovers the last seven games. That’s so not them. Without Jamie Collins they lack a good coverage linebacker and without Chandler Jones and Jabaal Sheard’s incredible decline (didn’t even travel to San Fran last week), the pass rush has been lacking. So much debate if it’s scheme or coaching or whatever, but really it’s just their best players not playing that well. They haven’t been getting off blocks, blowing zone coverages and missing tackles. There were signs of life against the 49ers but that was against the 49ers. Hopefully Fitz can break us out of our turnover funk! (MD)

It does seem like some young players are showing some signs of life for the Jets though, with Enunwa immediately coming to mind. If they do blow up Bowles and/or those vets you mentioned who do you see as the core going forward? (MD)

I do think Bowles will ultimately be back but yes I expect some major roster shedding of veterans like Revis, Ryan Clady, Breno Giacomini, Sheldon Richardson (via trade) and maybe Brandon Marshall. The young core is hopefully going to be mostly built from Mike Maccagnan’s last two draft classes but the jury is still out on many of those players, outside of Leonard Williams who has been awesome. A few John Idzik holdovers like Quincy Enunwa and Brian Winters will be key pieces on offense but this team has plenty of work to do at multiple positions. With a few salary cap moves, they should have flexibility to build both through free agency and the NFL Draft. (JC)

What is the formula, if any, to slowing down New England’s offense with the amount of weapons they currently have? Who has done the best job against them defensively since Brady has been back? (JC)

The only real model is the loss to the Seahawks a couple weeks ago, and even they needed a 4th down goal line stop at the end to preserve the win. The Seahawks also had two takeaways and didn’t turn the ball over themselves. With the Patriots defense this year you have to make it a track meet and not turn it over. Some effective strategies have been taking the checkdowns to the running backs and tight ends. They’ve also had problems sorting through bunch sets. Ultimately I think if you don’t kill yourself with turnovers, stay balanced and take what’s there, you’ll move the ball on them. Scoring touchdowns and not settling for field goals is critical as well. But Belichick seems to count on teams not being able to do any of that for 60 minutes. (MD)

There’s been plenty of talk about Revis’ decline, is he really a weak point for the defense? What matchups with the Patriots offense worry you the most? (MD)

Revis has absolutely been one of multiple weak points this season. Since week 1, he has routinely been beaten up and down field but more concerning is showing a lack of effort and physicality. He is no longer the sure tackler he has always been and struggles to even stay with the Kenny Britts of the world these days. Nearly every matchup with the Patriots offense worries me but in particular, the Jets don’t have the personnel to matchup with Gronk and Bennett at tight end and with Lewis or White catching passes out of the backfield. My hope is they can limit the big plays and tighten up in the red zone but I don’t see New England having much of a problem moving up and down the field on them, especially with how limited the pass rush has been this season. (Mo Wilkerson has joined Revis on a milk carton). (JC)

Prediction time. What is your score on Sunday and where do see New England finishing this season? Also is McDaniels gone next year to become a HC? (JC)

As a rule I never make a pointless prediction that doesn’t have the Patriots winning, so I’m going to go with their average score this season, 27-18. Many of the Jets readers might think I’m delusional but I won’t be surprised if Fitzpatrick has his best game of the season against us. Something will have to give as far as turnovers go since the Pats defense doesn’t get them and Fitzpatrick gives them away in bunches. As for McDaniels, I wonder if at this point he’s just going to stick around until Brady wraps it up. Why not see that to its conclusion? So I think he sticks around, unless it’s a great opportunity with a former Patriots front office guy in the NFC. Though those jobs (DET, TB) don’t look like sure bets to have coaching openings right now. (MD)

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Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports