There is no love lost between the Jets and the Patriots. Respect can be found, but this is one of the NFL’s top rivalries. Even though the Green & White have dropped the past three regular-season meetings in the series, they are 3-4 against the Men of Belichick since Rex Ryan took over.
The Jets most impressive win under Ryan was their 28-21 divisional playoff triumph over the Pats in Foxboro, MA on Jan. 16, 2011. If they find a way to get the job done at Gillette Stadium again on Sunday, the victory would be perhaps their most notable regular-season win under Ryan.
(If you want to send me a quick key to Sunday’s game, I will publish a few comments in this space over the weekend).
Great Neck, NY
EA: The Green & White must find a way to contain the Patriots rush attack when they load the field with DBs. You don’t replace a Darrelle Revis and you are so right — No. 24 is a dynamite tackler. All the defensive backs have to help in the tackling department and they’re all more than capable of pitching in. Both of the Jets starting safeties —
Dennis Thurman’s crew has an enormous challenge ahead this week against the Pats No. 1 offense. We know how deadly Tom Brady can be through the air, but the Pats are No. 4 in rush offense (152.3 yards per game) and they can kill you on the ground in nickel and dime situations.
The D needs sound tackling across the board and that includes the linebackers, a unit that will be counted on in coverage as well. Rookie
Q: Do you think the Jets will focus more on 4-man fronts this weekend with the Patriots O-Line being the worst it has been in a decade? It could be an interesting way to try to: 1.) Pressure Brady and get him on the ground without blitzing, 2.) Take Gronk out of the equation by forcing him to stay in to help block, 3.) Limit running lanes for that three-headed rushing attack with Ridley, Bolden, and Woodhead.
EA: You all are ready for this game. Impressive. The Jets are going to change their fronts and personnel packages. Disguising is important against Tom Brady because he’ll carve you up like a pumpkin if he knows what you are doing. The Pats are going to push tempo and they want to exhaust the opponent and catch them in personnel gaffes.
You have a sound plan, Tyler, but I think the Jets have to continue to mix it up. There are different ways to attack the quarterback and simulated pressure is critical. The Jets would love to prevent free releases from everyone and it’s a bonus to see Gronkowski in the backfield, but the coaching staff has confidence in Landry and Bell in coverage.
Q: I hear all this talk about the Jets not using Tebow in the right way. Do they have a plan or they just got him for show?
EA: The plan changes each week. This talk about not using Tebow the right way comes from the outside.
Port Jervis, NY
Q: This is a big week for the Jets and I’m psyched for this game. Do you think that McKnight should stay at the RB and KR position or should he presume his previous role solely as a Kick returner?
EA: I like McKnight in both roles. He averages 29.7 yards a return, ranking fifth in football. Also remember he had an 88-yard KR up at Gillette last October. He also rushes the punter a bit, but he adds another dimension to the offense.
Last week, McKnight had a career-long 61-yard run against the Colts. The guy has really good hands and he can do some damage in receiving situations. The big issue this week is we don’t know if McKnight will play against the Pats due to an ankle injury.
Q: With the trade deadline fast approaching, why not work out a trade for someone like Steven Jackson, who is clearly not wanted anymore. Or a WR? Either would help dramatically?
EA: Who says Jackson is even on the trade market? Like