Reflections on my Preview of the Pats-Jets matchup
Yes, my verdict was a bit wrong. New York controlled the majority of the clock, and came out with a win in a high-scoring game.
Surprisingly, though, some of my predictions came to fruition.
Jabar Gaffney: He didn’t face Law one-on-one until the second half, but Gaffney did not disappoint today (if only I followed my own advice in fantasy football).
Gaffney hauled in seven catches for 86 yards, including the Patriots’ first touchdown.
Whether matched up against Ty Law or rookie Dwight Lowery, Gaffney and Cassel took advantage of one-on-ones all day.
Jerod Mayo: I said that Mayo would need to cover more of the field in order to help ease the load on Guyton/Woods. Mayo did not disappoint, and moved sideline-to-sideline throughout the game, making tackles on all corners of the field.
Ty Law: We didn’t hear much from Ty Law, as he often covered Moss with help from the safeties. However, when matched up one-on-one, his coverage was often exploited. His best play was perhaps the Randy Moss touchdown catch, where he provided excellent coverage, but was simply outplayed.
Patriots' Defensive Scheme: The three-man front did not work for the Patriots, as their coverage did not have the athleticism necessary to give Favre time in the pocket. They may have been searching for that magical Brett Favre interception, but it didn’t happen.
Once they switched to a four-man front, they sacked Brett Favre three times and hurried him often. As the season progresses, especially with the relative success of that defensive scheme, expect more electric pressure from the Pats defense.
What I Didn’t See: Tight Ends. Both Ben Watson and (obviously) Dustin Keller had humongous impacts on offense, with practically identical catches and yardage. Ben Watson had a touchdown, but his impact was in the end possibly more negative than positive.
Watson’s key fumble while in field-goal territory cost the Patriots three points that might have swung the game.
But enough “woulda, shoulda, coulda.” The Pats will be back next week, with new looks on both offense and defense, and a team hungry for a playoff berth that is far from out of reach.