By Steve Silverman
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There’s nothing infallible about the New England Patriots.
They are actually prone to mistakes. This team has lost three games this year, and they come into their Week 7 matchup with the Jets with a 3-3 record.
That’s the same mark that the Jets have. It’s also the same as the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Even though there is still well over half the season to go, it’s quite an anomaly to see four teams tied for the division lead.
But despite what the standings say, this is hardly a division of equals. The Jets are probably the second-best team in the division and they will have plenty of opportunities to use the same formula they did in their 35-9 win over Indianapolis. That means using the ground game, special teams and defense to dominate the game.
That formula is not the way to beat the Patriots. New England’s biggest weakness is its inability to defend the pass. That has been the case for the last two-plus seasons, and they have not made any improvement in that area.
However, that’s not exactly the Jets’ strength. Mark Sanchez is a bare-minimum NFL quarterback. He has a hard time throwing the ball accurately, and the Jets simply don’t have the receivers to take on a defense that ranks 28th in passing yards allowed. Tim Tebow, you say? Please.
The first reaction to New England’s status in pass defense is that it’s difficult to believe there are four teams with worse secondaries than the Pats.
There’s no way Ryan is telling the truth on that.
Upsets happen all the time, and the Jets conceivably could come up with a miraculous performance. But nobody can look at the makeup of these two teams right now and think that the Jets have a reasonable chance.
The Patriots are coming home in a very angry mood. They blew a 23-10 lead over the Seahawks last week and lost in the final moments. Tom Brady made three big mistakes. His intentional grounding penalty at the end of the first half cost them a chance at a chip shot field goal, and Brady threw two interceptions based on his poor reads.
There’s little chance that Brady is going to play two poor games in a row.
The Patriots have a plethora of receiving weapons. The Jets are going to have a very difficult time staying with Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.
A year ago, the Patriots were doing it simply through the air. This year, Bill Belichick has given Brady a ground game.
Unknowns Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden are pounding the ball between the tackles. The Patriots have the fourth-ranked rushing attack in the league and the top-ranked offense overall.
While they can’t stop the pass, the Patriots hold their own against the run. They are only giving up 82.7 yards per game on the ground, ranking them sixth in the league.
The Jets can’t pass and they are playing a team that can’t stop anyone through the air. The Jets had their first good rushing game of the season, but they are facing a team that is stout against the run.
The Jets have to stop the best offensive team in the league without their All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis. The defense will also be tested by a pounding running attack.
The schedule is quite kind to the Jets the rest of the regular season outside of their two games with the Patriots.
They have a very good chance to end up with a winning record and a spot in the playoffs.
But winning this week? Don’t count on it.
What do you think, Jets fans? Upset alert or a good old-fashioned beating at the hands of the Patriots? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…