5 Reasons the Patriots Will Pummel the Jets' Lackluster Defense

Jeff BellCorrespondent INovember 21, 2012

5 Reasons the Patriots Will Pummel the Jets' Lackluster Defense

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    In what has fast-become one of the NFL's most heated rivalries, the New York Jets and New England Patriots square off for the second time this season on Thanksgiving Day.

    The Patriots won the first time around, a 29-26 victory in overtime on Oct. 21st.

    New England is three games up on the Jets in the AFC East, so even if Rex Ryan's team pulls off the unlikely victory, it'll be hard to catch up to the Pats.

    But while the Patriots are simply trying to secure the best seed possible for the playoffs, the Jets are fighting for their postseason lives.

    They picked up a nice win over the St. Louis Rams this past Sunday, but they'll have to regroup quickly in order to be prepared for the Patriots' explosive offense.

    Here are five reasons why the Patriots will pummel the Jets' lackluster defense.

1. A Streaking Offense

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    The New England Patriots have the NFL's best offense, but they've found a way to one-up themselves in the month of November.

    Tom Brady and company are averaging 42.5 points in their last three contests, and they're coming off a 59-point outburst this past Sunday.

    A quick turnaround could mean tired bodies, but they could also pick up right where they left off against the Indianapolis Colts and be in rhythm from the get-go.

    We've all seen New England score at will. It may not happen every game, but there's usually a point in the season where the switch is flipped and opponents run for cover.

    The Patriots have flipped that switch, and it could spell major trouble for the Jets on Thursday.

2. Aaron Hernandez

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    The news this week on starting tight end Rob Gronkowski wasn't good, and the team could be without his services for at least several weeks, according to ESPNBoston.com.

    The good thing for New England is that they could see the return of Aaron Hernandez, who still remains questionable, according to Michael Whitmer of The Boston Globe.

    The talented tight end out of Florida disappeared from the spotlight last season while Gronkowski broke records.

    But Hernandez still managed nearly 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdowns. He doesn't have the same size as Gronk, but he's quicker than many wide receivers and causes matchup problems with most linebackers.

    After his rookie season in 2010, many thought Hernandez would become the premier tight end in the Pats offense. He's taken a backseat role, but he's still as talented as anyone.

    With more targets in the passing game, don't be surprised to see Hernandez come through in a major way against the Jets.

3. Steven Ridley and the Patriots' Rushing Attack

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    The New England Patriots are used to destroying opponents through the air, and that hasn't changed much in 2012.

    But they've added a new element this year in the form of Steven Ridley and the suddenly potent rushing attack.

    Ridley is averaging nearly 90 yards a game on the ground, and the team as a whole gains more than 140 per game. That's fifth best in the NFL.

    It's also bad news for a Jets' D that has given up more than 140 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 30th in the league.

    Needless to say, Gang Green should be ready for one of the more physical rushing attacks they'll face this season.

4. Tom Brady Hitting His Stride

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    Nothing Tom Brady does should surprise anyone at this point, but his last four weeks have been ridiculous.

    He's thrown for 1,131 yards and 11 touchdowns. Did I mention he's thrown no picks during that stretch?

    The Jets fare well against the pass (they're fourth in the league), but the only real challenging quarterback they've faced aside from Brady was Ben Roethlisberger.

    They lost that game 27-10.

    Brady is playing at an extremely high level right now and it's hard to see how the Jets are going to slow him down at all.

5. Scoring-Defense Woes

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    The Jets' defense probably isn't playing like Rex Ryan thought they would as he drew up his schemes over the summer.

    They're giving up 24.1 points per game, 21st in the league. Out of the 10 opponents they've faced, six of them have scored more than their season average.

    Oh, and the Patriots lead the league in scoring at over 35 a game.

    So how exactly is this once-vaunted defense going to stop Tom Brady and Wes Welker?

    If recent history is any indication, they aren't.