Inside Enemy Territory: 5 Questions About the New York Jets

Inside Enemy Territory is a feature where I ask a blogger for the Patriots’ upcoming opponent five questions about their team and the upcoming game. This week, the Patriots travel to New Jersey to play the New York Jets. The Patriots are coming off back-to-back losses to the Steelers and Giants and could find themselves in unfamiliar territory: Losers of three straight games if they fall to the Jets. This game could have major playoff implications as well as a win or a loss could go a long way in deciding who wins the AFC East. I contacted Marc Greenberg from The Jet Press, a New York Jets blog, to get his insight on the Jets. Marc runs a great site (considering it’s a Jets site) and has loads of content.

Here’s our Q&A…

1. What do you think about Rex Ryan playing a Patriots fan in an upcoming Adam Sandler movie?

  No harm no foul in this.  Rex is a character and sees this as something fun more than anything.  Perhaps he’s telling everyone that, at the end of the day, football is a game and we shouldn’t take things too seriously, like this rivalry.  We are all passionate about our teams but in the end, it’s all fun.
2. Has Joe Namath quieted his criticism of the team now that the Jets have won three in a row?
 Joe has certainly not been making headlines recently.  When things got tough, Joe found some new fame in his critique of the team. Now, things have changed and Jets fans don’t have time for the negativity.
3. Since losing to the Pats Week 5, the Jets have been on a three-game winning streak. What has sparked the Jets?
 It’s weird because you usually can’t pinpoint a specific play that turned a team around.  You need a solid quarter or a good drive or a weak opponent, but for the Jets, it really seemed that two things turned this team around.  First, the return of Center Nick Mangold was huge because the offensive line was in disarray.  They were lost and getting killed on the field and in the press.  Mangold coming back has brought back the running game and playaction; the two keys to the Jets success.
As to the one play that turned it around;  the interception return by Darrelle Revis against the Dolphins in Week 6 was too big to ignore.  Down 7-0, the Dolphins had a chance to go up 14-0 and send the Jets spiraling out of control and potentially to 2-4.  Instead, the team seemed to wake up and found itself.
4. We know the Jets pride themselves on being able to run the ball. Will they stick to that formula this week or will they try and expose the Patriots’ weak pass defense?
The Jets secret to their success is the running game setting up the playaction for Mark Sanchez.  An effective run makes Sanchez a good quarterback. A bad run and Sanchez cannot carry this team.  So I see a combination on Sunday; I see the team trying to get Shonn Greene involved so Sanchez can effectively abuse the Pats defense.
5. Which lesser-known Jet will play a large role in a Jets victory?
Look to rookie Jeremy Kerley to play a role on Sunday.  Kerley has been improving as the weeks go on and is the teams 3rd wide receiver now.
Bonus: Game prediction?
I see the Jets winning this game 24-17.  The defense is playing just as good as ever under Rex Ryan and is getting that confidence back.

Topics: New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL

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