The Patriots offense was finally able to wake up last week, but it was at a heavy price. Running back Stevan Ridley and linebacker Jerod Mayo are done for the year. Their presence may not be as necessary this week however, as the Patriots take on the Jets on Thursday Night Football.
The biggest match-up this week again falls on the offensive line. Like the Bills last week, the Jets have a pretty good defensive line. If the Patriots line can hold up against that Jets front, Brady should be able to pick them apart. If Brady doesn’t have time to read the field and throw the ball, it’ll be a much tighter game because the Patriots running game is now up in the air.
Another match-up to keep an eye on is the Patriots tight end sets vs the Jets secondary. The back half of the Jets defense is horrible, so Gronk and Tim Wright should have monster games; but again, they’ll only have big games IF Brady is kept upright.
Geno Smith is probably the worst starting quarterback in the league. He doesn’t read the field very well and he is very generous with the ball. As long as the Patriots defense continuous to harass opposing quarterbacks, this won’t change. Last week, even after Mayo went down, the Patriots defense was all over Kyle Orton, so I expect them to be all over Geno, who will in turn be giving the ball up.
The Jets defense isn’t what it used to be. The secondary is suspect at best, and without those man-to-man corners Rex Ryan loves, his exotic blitz schemes fall apart. Not only that, the Jets porous secondary is without their best corner. Dee Milliner is now done for the year with an Achilles injury.
Hopefully the Patriots offense has finally gotten it together. If everyone on that line does their job, I expect Brady to continue his 2 week trend of tearing defenses apart. If the line falls apart again, expect the Oakland game. All in all I don’t see the Patriots losing this one. If Brady is kept upright, it should be a one-sided game.