NFL Picks Week 5: 4 Jets Who Will Come Up Big Against Patriots
After coming off Sunday night’s debacle against the Baltimore Ravens, the schedule gets no easier for the New York Jets as they are set to take on their most hated rival, the New England Patriots. The Patriots are surely out for revenge after being eliminated from last season’s playoffs at Foxborough by the hands of the Jets.
The Jets switch from their ground and pound offense to more of a pass-friendly attack seems to have been a mistake. Third-year Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez does not seem to be ready to take on the responsibilities just yet.
It all cannot be blamed on Sanchez however, without Nick Mangold, who arguably is the best center in the NFL, the offensive line, once the Jets strongest asset, was left in complete disarray. The new makeshift offensive line led to fumbled snaps, sacks and plenty of QB rushes leaving Sanchez with no time to make the proper reads.
It’s hard to imagine how one man, Mangold, can make such a difference, but it is clear to see that he is the offensive line’s anchor, and with him in the lineup, the Jets offense is astronomically improved. The great news is that Mangold is practicing and may be good to go by Sunday.
The Jets already have the blue print to beat Tom Brady and the Pats, whether they can execute again remains to be seen. It’s easier said than done, but they have to get to Brady, sack him, rush him, hurry him, knock him down, just be physical with him.
He needs to be out of his comfort zone. Rex Ryan wrote up a brilliant game plan against the Pats in last year’s divisional playoffs. He put Darrelle Revis on Deion Branch, Donald Strickland on Wes Welker.
Ryan would drop seven into coverage, which stalled Brady, leading him to be sacked five times and hurried even more.
Bill Belichick, Brady and co. obviously watched the game tape and will counter with their own, new plan. The Jets are in desperation mode after just four games and in order for them to win this desperately needed game, these four players will have to come up big.
Nick Mangold needs to play and play well. The NFL has seen the Jets without him, now they need to see him back. Mangold will need to protect Sanchez while instructing and leading the beleaguered offensive line back to credibility.
He needs to give Sanchez time and also get some holes opened up for Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson to have big days.
Shonn Greene/LaDainian Tomlinson
Shonn Greene/LT. The running game HAS to reappear. Greene needs more carries. The time of possession this game MUST be in the Jets favor in order for them to win. One goal has to be to keep Brady off the field as much as possible.
Greene has only carried the ball 51 times through four games, this needs to change, he needs carries to even have a chance to succeed. Same goes for LT, who has only carried for 21 times.
LT needs to produce and block and act as an extra lineman to help Sanchez as much as possible.
Kyle Wilson. Or whoever draws the Wes Welker assignment. Welker needs to be contained somehow. This could be first round pick Wilson’s time for a breakout game.
Antonio Cromartie is too long to cover the short Welker and Revis will be busy with Branch again, leaving Wilson with the time to shine or the time to get burned. Donald Strickland may also get the Welker assignment.
Calvin Pace/Aaron Maybin
The Jets need to find a way to get to Brady and so far Calvin Pace and Aaron Maybin have been their best pass-rushers. Now I know Maybin has only been with the Jets for one game and that he’s a bit of a reach, but in that one game, he showed you that he can get to the QB.
He had a near sack his first play and later followed it up with a sack and forced fumble. With the Jets only other pass-rusher, Bryan Thomas, besides Pace, out for the season, someone is going to have to step up.
Maybin is hungry and desperate to prove himself in the league after being labeled as a bust. Jamaal Westerman is another name to look for.
One last thing. Rex must come up with some sort of plan to stop tight end Rob Gronkowski, a matchup nightmare. That’s why he’s the great football mind and I’m just a writer.