The New York Jets defense will be looking for a measure of revenge when they host the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium this weekend. the last time these two teams met the Jets dared New England to run the ball on their nickel and dime packages, and the Patriots did just that. The run defense has since tightened up for New York, so it will be interesting to see how things shake out this week.
The Key Matchups:
Darrelle Revis vs. Wes Welker: Revis was able to keep Welker quiet when he was actually covering him. When the Jets started messing around and played Revis in a zone with safety Eric Smith responsible over the top, Welker burned the Jets for a huge gain. Expect Welker to have a permanent stay on Revis Island this week. The Jets are going to make someone else beat them.
EDGE: Jets. As long as it's Revis on Welker, the Jets are in good shape.
Jets Front Seven vs. BenJarvus Green-Ellis: This matchup wasn't even mentioned prior to the first meeting because it was hard to believe the finesse Patriots would move the ball on the ground against Rex Ryan's defense. The tackling was poor and the Jets couldn't set the edge on the line of scrimmage. Expect the Jets to challenge the Patriots to run the ball again, showing Tom Brady nickel and dime looks that should force him into checking out to running plays often.
EDGE: Jets. The Jets failed last time but come in with a chip on their shoulder and fresh off shutting down Fred Jackson. The defense was fast and physical Sunday, look for more of the same this week.
Jets Safeties vs. Patriots Tight Ends: This is the scary one for the Jets. Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith have struggled covering tight ends all season and the Patriots feature two big, athletic tight ends that catch the ball well in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The Jets may use Kyle Wilson and Donald Strickland on the tight ends at times and mix Brodney Pool in at safety, but there's still danger here.
EDGE: Patriots. If there's something out there for the Patriots to exploit in the Jets defense, this is it.
The Jets know they need to create pressure on Tom Brady. Between creativity and good coverage, the Jets were able to get to Brady a bit in the first game. Calvin Pace has picked up his game since, and look for him and Aaron Maybin to get after Brady this week. Forcing Brady to move his feet will take him out of his rhythm as a passer. Of course, the top priority is stopping the run this time around.
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