New York Jets Top Five – How To Beat The Patriots

Joe Belic with five keys for the New York Jets upsetting the New England Patriots

Just two short weeks ago, it seemed unrealistic to think the Jets had a chance to beat New England. Well, our young gunslinger is back, and hope is still alive.  While it won’t be an easy feat, in this week’s “Joe Jet 5,” I breakdown what it will take to bring down the Pats.  

1) Brian Poole: 

According to PFF, Poole has an overall grade of 80.6 and a coverage grade of 83.5 (ranked 8th in the NFL).  In other words, Poole has been one of the best corners in the league and a beast in the slot—where he’s played the vast majority of his snaps (248).  

Monday Night will be a true test as Poole is tasked with covering one of the elite slot receivers in the league, Julian Edelman.  The path to victory will largely depend on Poole remaining consistent and shutting down Tom’s favorite target. In week four versus the Bills, Buffalo held Edelman to a mediocre four receptions, and as a result, the Pats scored only 16 total points. 

2) Beat Up a Struggling Offensive Line:

After losing both Isaiah Wynn and David Andrews to injuries, the Pats are fielding backups at two crucial spots (Center and LT).  Although the Pats are 6-0, the OL has struggled with these key players out of the lineup compared to years past. According to Football Outsiders, in 2018, the Pats ranked first in pass protection and only gave up 21 sacks for the year.  So far this season, the Pats rank 13th in pass protection and have already given up 11 sacks.  The key to a win will be contingent on the Jets taking advantage of this weakness and disrupting the pocket.  The Jets need to hit Tom and hit him hard.  

3) Exploit the Weakness at Tight End:

The loss of Gronkowski has been significant on many fronts.  Gronk was a prolific pass catcher, but his prowess as a pass blocker was just as impressive.  The Pats recently re-signed Ben Watson and brought in former Jet Eric Tomlinson. Regardless, with Matt LaCosse injured and Ryan Izzo—and company—manning the tight end position, Tom has been left exposed.  Hopefully, Gregg Williams finds a way to capitalize on this. With the end of the line lacking another dominant pass blocker, it opens up one more spot the Jets can make use of to disrupt the pocket and put Brady on his back.

4) C.J. Mosley:

Mosley just graced the Twitterverse with a proclamation, “I’m playing Monday Night.”  The timing of Mosley’s return is impeccable. He was instrumental in what should have been a week one win versus the Bills at MetLife Stadium.  Buffalo scored all seventeen of their points—in a comeback win—with Mosley out of the lineup. It’s clear that Mosley—who had an INT for a touchdown in that game—was the primary reason for the Jets’ elevated gameplay that Sunday morning and having him on the field Monday Night will be crucial. 

5) Target Stephon Gilmore:

Target the player who hasn’t given up a 100-yard receiving game since joining the Pats?  I know, I know, it seems like the game plan should be to avoid what could be the best cover corner in the league, and it won’t surprise me if Gase ducks Gilmore altogether.  However, the Jets have to take some chances to win this game. To say this Pats defense has been dominant this season would be an understatement. It won’t be an easy task, but Robby Anderson—who’s done a solid job of improving his route tree and finding ways to get open—needs to be a part of the game plan. Opening up that part of the field will make the play calling less predictable and leave the rest of this Pats defense more vulnerable.