Well look at this we have a game on Thursday night with the New York Jets. Before the season I wouldn’t of given it a moments thought. But now the stakes are so much higher for this game. What’s on the line for the New England Patriots and the J-E-T (I hate the stinking) S. First place or at least a tie for first by the weekend’s end that’s what’s on the line. Also for the Patriots if they win this contest it means a season sweep of the Jets. And a nice little boost if the AFC East comes down to a tie breaker situation. It’s another Eric Mangini vs Bill Belichick meeting of the minds. Well in my opinion Mandingo doesn’t have much of a mind ever since he left New England back in 2006. But none the less it’s still going to be a classic I’m sure as much of the country and the world will be tuning into this game. So let’s jump right into it with this week’s keys to victory vs New York. Remember Thursday night at 8:15 pm EST tune your television sets to the NFL Network and enjoy this match-up.
1 – Stopping Thomas Jones: After the week that Thomas Jones had against the St. Louis Rams rushing the ball 26 times for 149 yards and not one, or two but three scores. It’s obvious that our defensive front line needs to pressure and hit the gaps quickly and effectively to stop Jones break his momentum and disrupt his style of running. Our linebackers will have to help in this situation with the likes of Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel being called on to do what they have done for years for us. Stop the back and help the offense out by keeping the opponent out of the end zone. In the red zone has been where the Patriot’s defense has stepped up the most this year by shutting opponents down. With the quickness and elusiveness of Jones we’ll need it once again. Hey I have Jones in my fantasy league but for this one week I’m hoping he comes up with nothing. I’ll lose in fantasy for one week if it means the Patriots shut him down.
2 – Matt Cassel:
This is going to be a huge part of the game for us. If Cassel goes out and does what he did in his first start after the Tom Brady injury we’ll be fine. Remember he throw for only 165 yards in week 2, but he didn’t have any interceptions either. The Jets will have much more film on Cassel and I’m sure they’ll pressure and try and fluster him Thursday. But if Cassel can hit hit receivers and stay focused in the pocket he only helps himself. The Jets will be blitzing all night using the safety from the corners to try and attack Cassel and force him into errant throws and bad decisions. They might even sneak newly signed Ty Law on a take the quarterback out suicide mission. That’s fine let them try, and the knowledge and confidence that Cassel has developed over the last two plus months will come out and help him through this game.
3 – Patriots Offense:
We have Cassel covered, but now it’s the rest of the Patriots offense’s time. With the likes of Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Jabar Gaffney as your main go to targets. We need to get them involved early and often throughout this game. Just like last week when Moss and Welker were looked at and thrown to numerous times in the first half. We’ll need that again, but don’t forget we have a nice pair of tight ends and our only two healthy backs to keep involved also. With Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis most likely being the main featured backs. Faulk has the ability to help Cassel out with being his safety valve from the backfield. Green-Ellis will look to continue dominance in the running game and also his streak of scoring a rushing touchdown again this week. But it will have to happen with a better defense involved than that of Buffalo’s last week. The Jets defense only pressured the Rams quarterbacks the entire game and forced fumbles, hurried throws and scored a defensive TD.
4 – Brett Favre:
We all know how dangerous Favre can be on the field at any time. But for the majority of the season his first with the Jets he’s been very different. Call it getting to know the offense in New York, the personnel involved. I have no idea, but take a moment and look at his season totals less than 2000 yards passing, 16 touchdowns thrown. But his fumbles have increased dramatically over last year’s with the Packers. His interceptions are higher as well as he’s tossed 12 already as opposed to the 15 he had all of last year. No matter what Favre does on the field statistics wise one thing can’t be taken away, the JETS are winning this year. Does that mean a better Favre makes them lose as what happened in the San Diego game earlier in the season. I would say it does, so in the minds of New York fans I’m thinking they’d rather see Favre do decent and win, instead of throwing for 400 yards and losing. No matter what we know him, he knows us and if we pressure him and hurry him forcing him from the pocket it’s a plus for us. If we allow him all the time in the world it’s going to be a long night Patriot fans.
That’s it for now fans, it’s time for me to relax and get some sleep. The final preparations for the game are under way. The Jets and the Pats will be on display in front of the world (where the Patriots belong) to battle it out. With first place on the line, team pride and of course Mandingo trying to out smart the MASTER JEDI in Belichick. God is it to early to ask for a Christmas wish or miracle? I only want a Patriots victory, now is that asking for to much. I don’t think it is. I can’t stand the Jets I despise them even more so than any other team in the NFL even the Dallas Cowboys. But they are a better team on the field year and it’s going to be a tough and very close game but I say New England wins it 27-23. Go Patriots!
Tags: BenJarvus Green-Ellis Bill Belichick Brett Favre Eric Mangini Jabar Gaffney Kevin Faulk Mike Vrabel New England Patriots New York Jets Randy Moss Tedy Bruschi Thomas Jones Tom Brady Ty Law Wes Welker