Patriots vs. Jets: 5 Keys to a New York Victory on Sunday Night Football
The Patriots on the other hand are on a two-game skid and have faced plenty of criticism this week after choking against the Giants and giving up a touchdown in the final minute to lose the game.
In the first matchup against the Jets and Pats in Week 5, the Pats beat the Jets 30-21 after Mark Sanchez could not create a late-game comeback.
This game will be much more important though, as both teams are tied for the lead in the AFC East at 5-3 which means the winner will take first place.
Sunday night is very important to both teams' playoff hopes, so here's the five keys for the Jets to stand alone in first place in the AFC East.
1. Air It Out
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With the Patriots ranked 32nd in passing yards allowed a game coming into Week 5, Brian Schottenheimer decided revert back to the ground-and-pound showing a 50/50 run-pass ratio.
This method proved ineffective as the offense accounted for only 255 yards in total offense and Mark Sanchez didn’t take advantage of the worst secondary in the NFL.
Coming into Week 9, the Pats are still ranked worst in the league allowing an average of 314 passing yards a game. This time Mark Sanchez needs to take advantage.
With the implementation of the ground-and-pound, Sanchez has been very successful. He has thrown seven touchdowns and only two interceptions, and is currently ranked second in the AFC QB rating since Week 5 with a 94.7 rating.
While the Jets should still run the ball, it won’t be as effective against the Pats as they are currently ninth in the league against the rush.
Sanchez needs to pick apart the young, inexperienced Pats secondary by throwing at least 30 times and spreading the field.
2. Limit Mistakes
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Sanchez currently has seven interceptions and leads the league in fumbles lost with five along with Joe Flacco.
Since Week 5 though, Sanchez only has had two interceptions but he had some shaky moments Week 8 against the Bills. Sanchez had an awful pass in the red zone that led to an interception, and also had a fumble where he took his eyes off the ball.
If Sanchez throws more he needs to make good decisions, be patient and take care of the ball.
There’s little room for error playing against Tom Brady, as he is a huge threat to score on every drive.
The Jets got lucky when the Bills didn’t take advantage of Sanchez’s turnovers, but with the Pats you may not get as lucky.
3. Stop the Run
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The Jets seemed overlooked BenJarvus Green-Ellis coming into Week 5 and he ended up having a monster game rushing for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Since Week 5, the Jets have been pretty good stopping the run, holding Fred Jackson for 82 yards last week and Ryan Mathews to only 38 in Week 6.
Green-Ellis has been in a slump since Week 5, only rushing for 119 yards in his last three games with no touchdowns.
Regardless, the Jets still need to take Green-Ellis seriously coming into this game and focus on stopping the run while containing the pass, which will be very difficult.
4. Put Pressure on Brady
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Coming into Week 9, the Jets are tied for 20th in sacks with 18 this season. While to the naked eye that may seem disappointing, the Jets have actually been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks this season.
Darrelle Revis and the Gang Green defense have 13 interceptions and have already reached their total for all of last season. They have also have held quarterbacks to an average quarterback rating of 59.4, which is the lowest in the league.
Linebacker Aaron “Mayhem” Maybin has been a key addition for the Jets this year, putting up three sacks in five games and three forced fumbles. He was able to pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Bills and in one play, helped forced an interception
Maybin and the Jets will need to put pressure on Brady, who has been very interception-prone this year throwing for 10 interceptions already.
The Jets also need pressure on Brady to force him to make quicker throws. The Pats have so many weapons and if you give Brady time, he’s bound to find someone.
5. Contain the Big Three
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Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have all been a nightmare for opposing secondaries. You can usually count on two of those three having great games.
The tight ends, Gronkowski and Hernandez, have accounted for 11 touchdowns and 929 yards while Welker currently leads the league in receiving yards with 960 coming into Week 10.
After giving up 131 yards to Welker in Week 5, the Jets will probably lock him away in Revis Island. That’s when Tom Brady will probably look to his two tight ends more which could be tricky for the Jets.
If the Jets can find way to contain the two tight ends and Welker, then all they need to do is have the offense put some points on the board.