by: Steve Tichenor
No one called this one. The Jets are going into a week 6 showdown at MetLife with the Patriots tied at 3-2 a top the AFC East with the Pats and Buffalo, a fact that was unfathomable at the beginning of the season. This game actually matters!
Now the Jets turn thier attention to #12. The Patriots have shown some vulnerability this season especially on defense but old reliable is still putting up the numbers. Tom Brady is leading the league in passing yards and has thrown 11 TD’s to 1 Int. Same old story.
So this Sunday’s game boils down to two questions; Can the Jets defense slow Brady down enough? Can an average Jets offense score enough points against a surprisingly bad Patriots defense?
The Jets defense did not play great in Cleveland but they do have the pieces to slow Brady down.
The secondary has played respectably during the 3 game winning streak. Veteran cornerbacks Buster Skrine and Morris Claiborne have covered fairly well but the story is the Jets rookies at the safety positions. First round pick, Jamal Adams has made his mark early and will only improve. Second round pick, Marcus Maye is even more impressive and had his first interception on Sunday. Immediate production from their draft is one reason the Jets are surprising people.
The Jets pass coverage could make things tough on Brady if the D line can manage to get pressure on him. Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams are still looking for their first sack of the season and the Jets have 7 total sacks as a team. The pressure has to get better this Sunday for the Jets to have a chance.
On the offensive end, after a breakout running game against the Jaguars, the Jets were stuffed in Cleveland. What’s more concerning, Bilal Powell left the game in the second half with a calf strain. With Matt Forte nursing turf toe, the Jets are thin at RB. Let’s hope Powell, who is listed as day to day, and/or Forte can get on the field Sunday. If not that is a lot to put on Elijah McGuire who has shown ability.
The passing game is what it is. McCown has done a pretty good job of taking care of the ball and he has found a reliable target in veteran Jermaine Kearse but this is hardly a high powered offense. The Jets will have to get back to running the ball with whoever is available.
The x factor is Austin Seferian-Jenkins who is developing into a nice TE and a reliable target for McCown. It would be great to see the Jets get the ball in his hands.
Overall, the Jets have to keep this close and hope for a shot in the 4th quarter with the fans behind them. The Patriots defense has given up more yards than any other team. That does not translate to the Jets offense putting up a big number, They are not built that way right now. Keeping the Patriots and Brady under 21 points is the name of the game. If they can do that they have chance.