Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is sacked by New York Jets corner back Antonio Allen (39) and New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis (56) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time since 2008 the Patriots will be facing a New York Jets team without Rex Ryan on the sidelines matching wits with Bill Belichick. Last year the house of cards that Ryan built finally came crashing down in New York as the defense struggled and the offense was impotent and the Jets finished 4-12. Despite a solid defensive line the Jets’ weaknesses at linebacker and the secondary saw the famous Ryan defense give up over 375 points for a third consecutive season and allow over 400 points for the first time since the Rich Kotite era.
On offense, the Jets failed to score 300 total points for the third consecutive season and finished with less than 400 total points scored each season for all six of the Ryan years in New York. For comparison, the last time New England scored under 4000 total points in a season was in 2006. The last time a New England Patriots defense allowed over 350 points in a season was pre-Belichick in 1995.
The Jets won just 26 games in the final four seasons with Ryan at the helm, or two less than Belichick and the Patriots won in the past two seasons (including playoffs). Going into the 2015 offseason, the Jets brought in a new collection of coaches led by former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as a first time head coach. A defensive specialist and former NFL safety, he brought in former Miami Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers as a first time coordinator.
Over on the offense, former Bills head coach Chan Gailey was brought in after being out of football for two years. Gailey has a reputation for getting the most out of his talent but does not have a track record of top ten offenses. He was running the offense for such “juggernauts” such as the Kordell Stewart Steelers, the Jay Fiedler Dolphins, and the Ryan Fitzpatrick Bills. He will have his hands full trying to squeeze points out of an offense with Geno Smith or Fitzpatrick (who was acquired for a draft pick from Tennessee) behind center.
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