Sunday, January 16, 2011
Battle Lines Have Been Drawn. (NE vs NY)
Over the past 2 season The New England Patriots and New York Jets have met 4 times, in every one of those games the home team won. Obviously this is an important statistic because The Pats are playing at home tonight against The Jets, but i think there are more in depth statistics that will clearly show where this game will be won and lost.
Game 1 : (New York, September 20th, 2009)
In Brady's second game back after his season-ending knee injury, he was a little bit shaky say the least. With Wes Welker out with a knee injury, and Randy Moss trapped on Revis Island, The Patriot offense had to rely heavily on Rookie QB-turned-Receiver Julian Edelman, and 38 year old Joey Galloway. Despite the two combining for 13 Receptions and 150 Yards, Tom couldn't get his boys into The Jets end-zone. Gostkowski's 3 Field Goals were the only scores by The Patriots as The Jets' 16 points were just enough to defeat New England.
Game 2: (Foxborough, November 22nd, 2009)
In Foxborough The Pats would lay a hurting on Mark Sanchez and The Jets. The Rookie Quarterback would throw 4 Interceptions including 3 to Leigh Bodden alone. Tom on the other hand completed 28 of 41 passes, for 310 yards, and a touchdown. Another huge part of this win was the return of Wes Welker, Number 83 would catch 15 balls for nearly 200 yards. New York would score twice in the second half but the game was never close.
Game 3: (New York, September 19th, 2010)
Going in to face The Jets in 2010 most of the worry was towards The Pats' young secondary, and if the pass rush could generate enough of a pass rush to cover up any inexperience they may have. Once the game started everything seemed to be going well. After Gostkowski's missed a 37 Yard field goal to finish the first drive, Brady would throw 2 TD's before the half.
With The Patriots leading 14-10, they started the second half by sacking Sanchez and forcing a punt. Everything was going right along with the plan. But this is where things got shaken up. After Revis was injured in the first half, Antonio Cromartie take over as the #1 Cornerback. Now earlier in the week New England decided that if Cromartie was in man to man coverage with Randy Moss they would try and exploit the mismatch. So when Brady saw The Superfreak going deep without Revis hanging over him, he threw the jump ball, the only problem is that instead of Moss coming down with it, Cromartie picked it off. New York would turn the turnover into 3 points. After a Patriot 3 and Out, Sanchez would lead his team down the field and get another Touchdown, then convert the two point conversion. With the game 21-14 Tom Brady would once again try to pick on what he perceived to be a "mismatch" but after Moss bobbled the pass it would be picked off by Jets' Safety Brodney Poole. The Jets would seal the deal. Tom Brady and his offense went scoreless in the second half.
Game 4: (Foxborough, December 6th, 2010)
A few things had changed since the last time these two teams met. The New England Patriots' offense was no longer based on Moos running deep and Welker running underneath. With Deion Branch and Tom Brady reunited, an evolved version of Super Bowl winning teams' offense was born. Instead of having number one and number two options, he now had a group of skilled route running receivers and power house tight ends. So Revis no longer had a number one receiver that he could just erase from the game, and Cromartie could no longer use his long strides to take away the deep ball because Welker and Branch's quickness would put him at a distinct disadvantage. Add to the fact that Bill Belichick's new offense now ran the ball and could throw to the Tight Ends... It's no wonder The Patriots Offense posted 45 points.
Just like the offense, the defense evolved as well. New England's once inexperienced defensive backs had now become one of the leagues best Ball-Hawking Secondaries. Sanchez would throw 3 Interceptions and fail to get his team into the end-zone. After scoring 28 points in week 2, The Jets could only muster 3 points from a 2nd quarter field goal.
Here's my Major Keys to Victory.
In the two wins NE averaged 106 Yards Rushing per-game, as opposed to just 67 in the two losses, this will be huge because Brady's passing game becomes super effective through play action... which obviously doesn't work if the defense has no reason to respect the running game.
The Patriots turnover differential in the two losses was -3, while in the two wins it was a gaudy +7. While The Pats don't need to force 5 TO's to win the game, it is key that they win the turnover battle. This defense may be improved but they are still very young, the last thing they need is for Brady to be giving the opposing QB any extra chances to beat them.