1. Contain Rob Gronkowski
- Gronkowski absolutely murdered the Jets last year, highlighted by his posting eight catches for 113 yards and two scores in their second meeting, a 37-16 Patriots blowout victory. If the Jets want to win, they’re going to have to find a way to contain Gronk. That probably means a heavy dose of LaRon Landry and Antonio Allen covering Gronkowski, if the Jets don’t just straight up decide to put Antonio Cromartie on him. No matter how they do it, New York has to limit Gronkowski’s impact on the game if they want to win.
2. Sack/Pressure/Rattle Tom Brady
- The Jets pass rush finally showed some signs of life this season, registering four sacks and numerous pressures last week against the Colts. The result? They kept Indianapolis’ offense to a mere nine points en route to a 35-9 victory. Now, the Patriots offense is a lot better than the Colts’, but the same principle applies. Give the quarterback as little time as possible to make a play downfield, because if you give an elite passer like Tom Brady time to throw, it’s going to be a long day. Quinton Coples and Aaron Maybin finally showed up this year with strong performances against the Colts, with Coples registering two sacks and several pressures, while Maybin consistently zipped into the backfield to pressure Andrew Luck. The Jets will need more of the same against the Patriots from those two.
3. Attack with a downfield passing game.
- New England’s defense is a lot better this year than it was last year. They can shut down the run (Pats’ run D is fifth in the league), which doesn’t bode well for a team like the Jets that won solely on their ground attack last week (252 yards rushing, as opposed to only 99 yards through the air). But, the Patriots have shown the propensity on defense to get burned for long plays, especially down the middle of a defense that features a lot of young defensive backs. Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley has shown the ability to make plays out of the slot, and a healthy Dustin Keller should give Mark Sanchez a reliable weapon in the seam. Stephen Hill is also healthy, and should be able to stretch the field as well. Most likely, the Patriots’ defense will bring Shonn Greene and the Jets’ running game back down to earth this week, and the Jets will have to pass a lot to make up for it. And if that’s the case, they have got to attack all areas of the Patriots pass defense. Get the ball to Hill, Kerley and Keller, even take shots downfield just to keep the New England defense honest and from stacking the box to shut down the run.
4. Play mistake-free
- Bill Belichick is a far superior coach to Rex Ryan. Ryan admitted as much earlier in the week. If the Jets make a lot of dumb mistakes, like turnovers, poor clock management and burning timouts when they can’t switch from their regular offense to the Tebow package, they’re going to get annihilated. Let’s not forget that this is a Patriots team that blew a lead in the last minute and ended up losing to Seattle last week. They’re going to be mad, and focused. The Jets cannot give the Patriots any mistakes to take advantage of, or they’re going to lose, plain and simple.
By Arun Morace
The post New York Jets Keys to the Game: Week 7 vs. the New England Patriots appeared first on New York Sports Kings.