TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 12: New England Patriots At New York Jets

Patriots
Jets
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers v New York Jets
Quarterback
Winner Tom Brady has put together another scintillating season. He has a plethora of weapons to choose from and he has also been unfailingly accurate and alert. Brady finds the open receiver because he reads defenses so well. He is never overwhelmed by the situation and he makes sure to deliver the ball with velocity and accuracy. That’s why he’s a consistent winner
It’s been a disastrous season for Mark Sanchez. The Jets were hoping that Sanchez would make progress this season and give them a credible passing game, but he has gone the other way and the Jets can’t compete when they get behind by more than a touchdown. The Jets don’t have the supporting personnel to help Sanchez out very often.
Offense
Winner The Pats have been solid on the ground this season thanks to outstanding work by the offensive line and the surprising ability of Stevan Ridley. He is not the fastest or quickest runner, but he finishes his runs and follows his blocks. Wide receiver Wes Welker can always get open and make plays when he is healthy. Julian Edelman will probably take on a bigger role since tight end Rob Gronkowski (broken arm) is out.
The Jets have few players who are capable of providing explosive plays. Head coach Rex Ryan is not under the illusion that Shonn Greene is going to break long runs, but he needs the running back to wear down the defense. The Jets receivers are ordinary, but Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schillens will try to take advantage of the soft New England secondary.
Defense
The Patriots know they can’t get any worse at pass defense and the acquisition of talented Aqib Talib could bring them some improvement. If the Patriots have any hope of succeeding in the postseason, they have to find a way to slow down the passing game. Linebackers Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes are hard hitters and good tacklers and New England is solid against the run.
Winner The Jets have lost the physical battle on several occasions this season. That’s got to be a shock to Ryan, who prides himself on having a punishing defense. Ryan is not disappointed with the play of linebacker David Harris, who is almost always in the right position and one of the best tacklers in the league. Strong safety LaRon Landry has been an effective tackler and excellent in coverage.
Special Teams
Winner Stephen Gostkowski is consistent and determined. After missing an early-season game-winning attempt vs. Arizona, he looks like a confident and focused kicker. The Patriots punt and kickoff teams have gotten the better of their opponents all season and Devin McCourty is a threat on kickoff returns.
Fiery Mike Westhoff has not been happy with the Jets’ special teams play, but overall coverage has not been bad. That’s not good enough for Westhoff, who will retire at the end of the season. Kerley and Joe McKnight have both had returns for touchdowns. Placekicker Nick Folk has been sharp this season.

The Winner Is

New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Winner Patriots
3 out of 4

This looks like a complete mismatch on paper, but the Jets pushed the Patriots into overtime before losing the first meeting between these two teams in October. The Patriots have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, but the Jets don’t have the weapons to take advantage of this weakness.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

    The NFC South rivals meet in the Big Easy with Brees and company looking for their first win.

  2. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
stop Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles
at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagels defeated the Bears 29-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammates center Travis Frederick #72 and offensive guard La'el Collins #71 after scoring a third quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys rookies have looked good the first two weeks, now they get the winless and injury plagued Bears at home.

  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Philadelphia Eagles

    The two Pennsylvania teams have gotten off to 2-0 starts. Who will win the battle for interstate bragging rights?

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

WFAN Football Cruise Drip
1010 WINS Special
WCBS 880 Breakfast

Listen Live