Reporting Peter Schwartz
The Jets will be looking to bounce back after Monday night’s loss to the Ravens. Starting a season 0-1, especially when you have Super Bowl aspirations, is never an ideal situation. But, starting 0-1 with the Patriots as your next opponent is asking for trouble.
“I don’t think I would have signed up for this if you gave me an option,” said Ryan. “The fact that New England does come into town, a divisional opponent, in my eyes, it’s a game-and-a-half. That’s basically what these games end up being. We’ve got a huge opportunity in front of us and we have to play much better than we did Monday night.”
With divisional road games looming at Miami and Buffalo, its clear that Sunday’s showdown with the Pats can be looked at as a must-win. Sure, there have been times when teams, including the Jets, started out 0-2 or 0-3 and made the playoffs. But it’s not an ideal situation.
However, Ryan isn’t so sure that “must-win game” should be a storyline this week.
“I don’t know how believable that is in Week Two,” said Ryan. “We need a win in our stadium. That’s the way it is. That’s how I feel. That was the thing about last week. The fans were there, we had it going and we never found a way to get it done. Even though we had several opportunities, we didn’t do it. Here, it’s going to be a huge challenge. Yes, I want to win. Is it a must-win where you absolutely have to have it? No, but it kind of feels like it.”
Among the Jets many issues will be filling the void left by the season ending knee injury to NT Kris Jenkins. Sione Pouha filled in nicely last season when Jenkins went down so he’ll see plenty of time. Jenkins has big shoes to fill, but Pouha is not exactly a slouch.
“Sione is an outstanding player in his own right, no question,” said Ryan. “He’s basically coming into his own. It’s been a few years. Sometimes that happens like that (with) a (defensive) lineman. All of a sudden, you give him an opportunity and, boom, he hits it. He’s playing great.”
One thing about the Jets defense is that they stick to their personality and the way they go about their business. With Jenkins out, nothing changes in terms of schemes.
“No, we will play like Jets whether someone is there or someone is not there,” said Pouha. “We take the same approach. We play like we practice. When things like this happen, the next man just steps up.”
The Jets will certainly have their hands full dealing with Tom Brady and the Pats offense.While Darrelle Revis has a track record of shutting down Randy Moss, the Jets are facing a huge problem in finding someone to cover Wes Welker.
Ryan remembers the game last November 22nd in New England when Welker torched the Jets for 15 catches and 192 yards.
“I’ve always done a great job defending Wes Welker,” joked Ryan. “Last year, when he the 20 (actually 15) catches). How bad is that? If he catches half, he catches 10 balls, it would be a bad day for Welker, so I don’t know. I’ve got no answer for him. One thing we’ve got to do is we’ve got to hit him.”
Who covers Welker? It will likely be a group effort, but look for Drew Coleman to see some time. He’s a guy that looks to be a decent match-up against Welker.
As far as Tom Brady goes, the Jets have certainly had their share of troubles with him. There have been times when Gang Green has been able to contain him, but those moments have been few and far between. Jason Taylor will be facing the Pats for the first time as a Jet but has plenty of experience facing New England from his days in Miami.
So he knows what to expect from Brady on Sunday.
“It’s tough,” said Taylor. “He’s the best quarterback out there. He’s seen it all. He’s very patient (and) a very smart quarterback. He takes his time and makes the right reads. He has playmakers around him and he just gets the ball to them and lets them do their job.”
Offensively, the Jets face another tough defense after dealing with Baltimore’s unit on Monday night. The Patriots present yet another challenge for Mark Sanchez and company who are still treading water to find some consitency.
“Just another stingy defense,” said Sanchez. “(It’s) another defense where we can’t hurt ourselves because they’re going to make plays on their own. We don’t want to help them. (It’s) a tough front seven again, (with) (Vince) Wilfork anchoring down that 3-4 defense. (They have) some great players. (Tully) Banta-Cain had an awesome game last week. He just does a great job of disrupting your timing in the passing game and getting after your tackles. It’s going to be another challenge for us. You couldn’t ask for anything more. This is going to be great.”
The Jets are certainly hoping that the result is great. If not, the Jets won’t be very happy campers as their prepare to fly South to Miami next week.
The Jets lead the all-time regular season series 50-48-1. At home, the Jets are 29-22 against the Pats with this being the first meeting between the two teams at New Meadowlands Stadium. Last year’s 16-9 win over the Pats snapped the Jets eight game home losing streak against New England.
The rivals have split the season series in each of the last two seasons.
This marks the third straight season that the Jets have hosted the Patriots in week three of the season.
Here’s a little Jets trivia….
What Jet rushed for the most yards ever in one game against the Patriots?
The answer is at the end of this blog.
JET PLAYERS AGAINST THE PATS
*CB Darrelle Revis has 27 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 6 passes defensed in 6 career games against the Patriots. Revis has held Randy Moss to under 35 yards receiving in each of the past two seasons.
*Although this is his first game against New England as a Jet, Jason Taylor has a pretty good track record against the Patriots from his days with the Dolphins. In 25 games against New England, Taylor has 12 sacks, 3 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.
*RB Ladainian Tomlinson has faced the Pats 7 times rushing 139 times for 670 yards and seven touchdowns. He has 20 catches for 191 yards against New England.
*WR Jerricho Cotchery leads all Jets offensive players with 13 games against the Pats. He has 46 catches for 745 yards and 5 touchdowns.
*DE Shaun Ellis has lined up against the Patriots 20 times in his 10 year career amassing 85 tackles, 12 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.
Trivia answer…..John Riggins rushed for 168 yards against the Patriots on October 15th, 1972, the most ever by a Jet against New England.
Pats 21 Jets 10
That’s it for now! Enjoy the game!