Jets coaches come and go, but the rival ringmaster on the Patriots’ sidelines stays the same. Now, it’s Todd Bowles’ task to lead his charges into a matchup against Bill Belichick’s Patriots.
The game is for more than mere bragging rights this time, with the Jets (4-1) and Patriots (5-0) vying for an early edge in the AFC East race. The winner of this game will sit atop the division, perhaps putting the onus on the loser to get even in their Week 16 rematch at MetLife Stadium.
But that’s two months away, and the Jets must get through Sunday afternoon’s showdown at New England. Here’s how the Jets can win it.
Deflate Brady’s swagger
Tom Brady is on fire. He owns a blistering 14-1 TD-INT ratio, the chief reason the Patriots are unbeaten thus far. He’s not invincible, though. His offensive line has allowed him to be sacked 13 times. With Sheldon Richardson’s return last week, the Jets’ pass rush has more punch. A big day by Muhammad Wilkerson (four sacks this season) could shake Brady.
The Pats aren’t invincible, especially on defense. They allow 4.9 yards per carry (tied for 39th in NFL). Look for Jets running back Chris Ivory (5.5 ypc) to showcase his skills — as long as they don’t fall too far behind early.
Call the Marshall
Brandon Marshall is having a fantastic season (37 catches, 511 yards, four touchdowns). The Pats’ secondary is vulnerable to stud receivers — the Steelers’ Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 133 yards and a score in Week 1. With Marshall playing at a high level, a continuation of that is a must for the Jets.