10 Things New England Patriots Must Do To Beat New York Jets

Phil Shore@@PShore15Correspondent ISeptember 19, 2010

10 Things the New England Patriots Must Do to Beat the New York Jets

0 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls out the play in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/G
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The New England Patriots came out on fire in their opening week victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Now they have a chance to send a statement to the rest of the AFC East, being that the division runs through them and to be the champions you have to beat the champions.

    There was a lot of hype surrounding the New York Jets this offseason, with all their roster additions, their appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” television show, and their bold claims of winning the Super Bowl.

    Some anointed them champions, but after their offense’s futile performance in Week 1 against the Ravens, the panic button may have already been hit.

    The Patriots need to jump on the Jets while they are down, asserting their dominance. There are some key things that the team needs to do in order to make sure that happens.

The Patriots Need To Prove They Can Win On The Road

1 of 10

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  The Baltimore Ravens kickoff to the New York Jets during their home opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium on September 13, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Last year in the regular season, the Patriots were unbeatable at home going 8-0, but they were a pathetic 2-6 on the road.

    The Jets did a poor job defending their new turf last weekend, and they have to be up for the Patriots game or else a fan mutiny may take place.

    Bottom line for the Patriots though is that they need to win away from home. They don’t have to go undefeated, but they cannot afford to have such an awful road record. They need to take advantage of the Jets' uninspiring play as of late, and escape with a win.

The Running Game Needs To Step Up

2 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Fred Taylor #21 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as Roy Williams #31 defends during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Bengals 38-24
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The running backs, namely Fred Taylor, need to prove that the Patriots were justified in trading away former first-round draft pick Laurence Maroney.

    He was an inconsistent player, but so were the rest of the guys at that position, mostly because of injury. The Patriots made a statement that they are confident in the guys they do have, and that Maroney was essentially a mistake.

    The remaining crew needs to reward that confidence, and they should get a boost from the Jets missing monstrous nose tackle Kris Jenkins.

Randy Moss Needs To Show Up

3 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Randy Moss #81  of the New England Patriots carries the ball in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Ge
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Last year, Darrelle Revis shut down Randy Moss. In two games against the Jets, Moss had nine catches for 58 yards, and one touchdown. Certainly not numbers up to the star receiver’s standards.

    This offseason Revis called Moss out, calling him a “slouch." Moss took the comments in stride, but he wants to prove the corner wrong.

    Revis held out all of training camp, and returned just in time for Week 1, but he wasn’t in top game shape, and has been nagged by a hamstring injury this week.

    Moss needs to show up and burn Revis, making him look silly for deciding to hold out for more money instead of getting ready to face him.

Wes Welker Needs To Continue Incredible Comeback

4 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as Leon Hall #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals defends during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defe
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Welker’s 64 yards receiving and two touchdowns last week were surprising, given that at the end of last year no one thought he would be available to play until, at the earliest, Week 6. His comeback from an ACL tear has been impressive, but he needs to continue to perform at a high level.

    With Revis and Moss squaring off, Welker will get a good amount of attention from the rest of the Jets secondary. If he is playing well, he will open up the Jets defense for the rest of the offense.

The Secondary Needs To Step Up

5 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Darius Butler #28 of the New England Patriots breaks up a pass intended for Chad Ochocinco #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the NFL season opener  at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Jim R
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The Bengals were down last week and needed to pass. The Patriots knew this, but they still couldn’t stop what was coming.

    Carson Palmer threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns, and Chad Ochocinco had 159 yards receiving. The Bengals have a large stable of receiving options, and Palmer is more experienced and confident than Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is, but Palmer was gunning the ball at will.

    The Patriots secondary needs to improve. New York won’t have Santonio Holmes, but Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller can still be dangerous if the defense lets up.

The Pass Rush Needs To Be More Present

6 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Gary Guyton #59 of the New England Patriots carries the ball in for a touchdown as Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals tries to tackle during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, M
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Patriots sacked Palmer only once in Week 1. That is not the way they wanted to start the season.

    The Patriots need to attack the offensive line, specifically the left guard spot, where Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse have been disastrous.

    If they can get past whoever is starting there, collapse the pocket, and make Sanchez run for his life, it will be a very long, difficult, and frustrating day for the Jets.

    Gary Guyton had a nice interception and return for a touchdown last week, and more of that can come with constant pressure, forcing Sanchez to make bad plays. And Sanchez will force the ball.

What happened to Stephen Gostkowski?

7 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 26:  Stephen Gostkowski #3 of the New England Patriots kicks as Zoltan Mesko #14 holds in the second half against the St. Louis Rams on August 26, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Rams defeated the Patriots 36-3
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The career 84 percent kicker missed two field goals last week, going 1-for-3 on the day.

    The Jets defense did hold the Ravens offense to only 10 points on the day, so it could very well come down to a field goal battle, and more Gostkowski misses could cost New England precious games in the standings.

Special Teams Boost

8 of 10

    FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 26:  Brandon Tate #19 of the New England Patriots watches the ball in the first half against the St. Louis Rams on August 26, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Gostkowski had a bad game, but kick returner Brandon Tate more than made up for it. He had four kick returns for 184 yards—an average of 46 yards per return—and a touchdown.

    The Patriots weren’t very solid last year, so Tate’s contributions were huge.

    Again, in a game that could be a defensive struggle, field position, and special teams touchdowns would have a huge impact.

Utilize the Tight Ends

9 of 10

    ATLANTA - AUGUST 19:  Tight end Aaron Hernandez #85 of the New England Patriots jogs off of the field during halftime during the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on August 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrill
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Last weekend, the Jets saw a heavy dose of Todd Heap, who caught six balls for 72 yards. His longest catch was for 35 yards, his longest since 2007, and he averaged 12 yards a catch (the last time Heap averaged 12 yards a catch—for the season—was in 2003). He also helped moved the chains, achieving five first downs.

    The Jets made Heap look like a viable receiver once again, not something he has done the past few years.

    The Patriots targeted rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez twice last week, making one catch for 45 yards. He has good hands and is smooth in the open field, looking more like a wide receiver.

    New England has never been afraid to look at all its options on offense, so it might be beneficial to go to Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski more often.

Be Smart

10 of 10

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27:  Bart Scott #57 of the New York Jets in action against the Washington Redskins  during their preseason game on August 27, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Image
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    The Jets are frustrated. They also have a lot of guys more than willing to run their mouths. With such a big rivalry, the game could get very physical and chippy.

    The Jets won’t be disciplined. Last week they committed 14 penalties for 125 yards. That’s more yards than the running game or the passing game accumulated.

    New England needs to play Patriot football. Don’t let the Jets players, or head coach Rex Ryan, get in their heads. Stay disciplined and don’t get into a battle of words. Let your game and the scoreboard do the talking.

    Even then, it may not shut up Bart Scott.