Jets vs. Patriots: Here's why Gang Green can pull off a win
The Jets are becoming predictable, having alternated wins and losses through the first six weeks. On the bright side, they’re primed to win this week’s matchup Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Patriots if the pattern holds to form. If that’s not enough to reassure the Jets faithful that they can knock off their rivals from New England, here’s three much better reasons to believe.
Back on Sept. 12, the Jets put up quite a fight in Foxboro, Mass., despite losing, 13-10. The Jets had more first downs that day (15 to nine), more rushing yards (129 to 54) and more passing yards (189 to 178). Eight penalties and four turnovers did the Jets no favors, but they were otherwise in it throughout the entire contest. With the opportunity to play in front of their own fans in Week 7, who’s to say cutting down on the mistakes couldn’t turn the tide in the Jets’ favor?
Last week’s game-winning touchdown notwithstanding, Tom Brady hasn’t been his usual self in 2013. His completion percentage is hovering just under 57% and his QB rating (79.5) is the lowest of his career. Part of that has to do with the lack of reliable receivers on the field, but he’s also been missing on plenty of deep throws. Rob Gronkowski could return this week, but it’s no sure bet. Don’t think for a second Antonio Cromartie and the Jets secondary are afraid to face Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson again.
What a rush
The Patriots’ greatest weakness on defense plays into the Jets’ most consistent offensive threat: the running game. Bilal Powell leads a Jets attack that averages 115.5 yards per game, only slightly less than the 118.8 yards the Patriots surrender per contest. Even in a down year, keeping the ball away from Tom Brady should be the focus of offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Nothing would accomplish that better than running the ball more than 30 times and methodically moving the chains all afternoon.