Oct 16, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets running backChris Ivory
(33) leaps over goal line for a touchdown during the second half agains the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
1. Run Defense Needs Work (It’s Fixable, Though)
Let me be clear.
The Pats’ run defense in this game was absolutely putrid.
New York ran wild over New England, averaging over five yards a pop, on their way to 218 rushing yards. The Patriots made Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson look like Emmit Smith and Barry Sanders in this one, thanks mainly to their inability to get off blocks, and a pathetic showing in the tackling department.
I know they are coming off only three days of rest, and they just lost their leader on Sunday, but this performance was inexcusable. I though Dont’a Hightower, Vince Wilfork, and Jamie Collins would rally the troops, and put forth a promising effort against their heated rivals, but sadly, that did not happen.
The Pats tried to play a 3-4 defense, which left them far too exposed in the middle. The space between the tackles and the linebackers was not filled quick enough, and the Jets took advantage. But schemes aside, this just came down to the Patriots’ defensive line not shedding blocks, and the linebackers failing to make tackles.
Going forward, look for the Pats to play a more traditional front, with four down lineman, and look for Jamie Collins to move to the outside, where he is much better suited to be. New England has 10 days off now before their next game, and I am confident Bill Belichick will make the correct changes, and implore his team to get back to the fundamentals.