Well here we are, its almost Week 2 of the NFL and we are just days away from Matt Cassel's first start since his senior year at Chatsworth High 1999.
For those of you who don't know, Matt is an all out athlete. Similar to his superior, Tom Brady, Matt Cassel was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 36th round in the 2004.
While Tom Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round in 1995 as a catcher. Matt and Tom have a great relationship, being competitive as they are.
It was known by few that they played practical jokes on each other during training camp. Tom and a few other players had taken all four tires off of Matt's vehicle and hid them though out the stadium.
Matt ended up finding another ride home that day.
Matt plotted revenge as he and two other players filled Tom's vehicle with styrofoam-peanut packaging.
The Patriots will set up a game plan that will work for Cassel in Sunday's game against the Jets, even though it will be extremely loud with it being Brett Favre's home opener, never mind the obvious hatred for the Patriots and spygate.
It's going to be a great task for Cassel and the staff. With the Jets defense ranking 29th last year, you will see a full load of Sammie Morris up the middle and Maroney run on the outside. Kevin Faulk will play too, mainly as the 3rd down back and you'll see a few screens go his way.
I truly believe you will see Faulk in motion during spread offenses to keep as an extra blocker, as the Tight End David Thomas, is a better receiver than a blocker.
Though trying to keep it simple for Matt you will see more of the pro I-Formation and single back situations.
The Jets will run their 3-4 defense and send blitzes to confuse Cassel in the pocket. What the have to be aware of is the fact that Matt likes to run after he does his check downs.
He is very similar to Aaron Rogers at Green Bay, in that matter.
Cassel has great awareness in the pocket and has shown he will take anything you give him. The Jets weakness is in their secondary, as is the Patriots, but we all know the Patriots don't strive on beating the team's weakness, they work on beating the opponent's strengths.
Wes Welker will eat up any zone defense, as Randy Moss will draw mostly double coverage. Don't sleep on Moss, Cassel isn't afraid of throwing the deep ball, Moss can catch a ball if it is close to the vicinity of his pattern.
The Patriot's wide outs are going to run short cross patterns early to get the linebackers of the out of the box and into zone coverages, which will help out the run towards the end of the game, controlling the clock.
It will be a well balanced game of short passes and a strong running game from the Pats.
As for the Patriots defense, they have to beware of the long ball with Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles.
Brett loves to take a 5 step drop and just fling it with one on one coverage. With the addition of Damien Woody to their offensive line, Thomas Jones and Leon Washington should both have good years. Both running backs will help Brett with play action.
Richard Seymour, now completely healthy, will keep the pressure outside and contain Favre, as rookie linebacker Jerod Mayo will plug up the middle. Mike Vrabel will contain Favre on the left side and Tedy Bruschi will hawk eye in the middle and plug the gaps.
The Patriots secondary is a weakness, but is not short of experience. Rodney Harrison will lay down the hits as well as second year Brandon Meriweather.
On Sunday, look for a well balanced offense from the Patriots. More pro I-Formations and singleback situations to keep the Jets defense honest.
Moss will get the ball at times but not the usual 45 yard pass in stride. If Matt Cassel can keep his composure and doesn't turn the ball over, chalk up a 27-17 win against the Jets. Boston still believes.
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