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Game Previews Tom Kiss

Week 10: NY Jets at NE Patriots

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By Tom Kiss

Coming off the bye week, look for the New York Jets to try and bounce back from an awful loss in Cleveland two weeks ago.  What did Eric Mangini and his coaching do to get the Jets prepared to win in New England?  While the word out of Weeb Ewbank Hall was that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer wants Chad Pennington to stop thinking so much on the field, there is the sneaking suspicion that with the Jets defensive so bad, some changes could be coming.  Don’t expect many personnel changes (other than perhaps more of Rashad Moore and Brad Kassel) but rather expect to see Mangini take a bigger role in the play calling during this weeks match up.  Mangini did start calling the plays late in the Cleveland game and showed a major increase in aggressiveness by blitzing Charlie Frye constantly.

When the Jets have the ball
In the first match up between these two division rivals, the Jets played very tough but lost 24-17.  This week, the jets look to hand the Patriots back-to-back losses and will not have to contest with safety Rodney Harrison who will miss possibly the entire season with a broken shoulder blade.  The Jets will test Artrell Hawkins, a nine year veteran safety who will be playing instead of Harrison.  Jericho Cotchery should have a nice day, while Coles will be the focus of the Patriots defense.  With Cedric Houston coming along, though even if he plays this week it will be in a limited role so rookie Leon Washington will get the bulk of the carries this week. 

Chad Pennington had one of the worst performances of his career last week against the Browns.  Pennington needs to be much better and sharper against the Patriots this week.  Also look for Pennington to not scan the field as much, hitting his receivers much earlier in their patterns.  Despite the awful performance last week, Pennington can build off of the tremendous throw he made on the Jets final play.  It was the first time that Pennington made a 64 million dollar throw since signing that contract.

When the Patriots have the ball
Tom Brady was terrible against the Colts, but Mangini and the Jets will not bank on that happening again.  Brady has always been a steady performer and he will most likely be his usual efficient and reliable self.  The real “question� will be how well the Patriots running the ball.  Look for the combo of Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney to be used early and often.  The only chance the Jets have is to try and contain the running game, they will not win if the Pats can run and throw effectively.  Look for Mangini and Bob Sutton to call an aggressive game with lost of blitzing on passing downs.  Dewayne Robertson is the key defensively for the Jets, who despite all their talk about Dewayne’s improvement in technique, he has yet to dominate the line of scrimmage. 

The Patriots will try and get tight end Ben Watson involved more this week.  Without a legitimate receiving core, the Patriots have still been successful, but going against a questionable Jets defense, look for Brady to go to Watson when the Jets bring multiple blitzers.  The play of safeties Eric Coleman and Kerry Rhodes will also help to dictate the game as they will try and keep the game in front of them and make plays.  Coleman, who dropped a big and relatively easy interception in Cleveland, will need to start making plays or else he may find himself on the sidelines.

Match up of the Game
Richard Seymour DE NE vs. D’Brickashaw Ferguson LT NYJ

Seymour has not been all that healthy this season and has only three sacks.  Ferguson has been playing well but when will he hit the rookie wall?  Seymour will give Ferguson everything he has while trying to improve on the just 3 sacks he has this year.  Ferguson should do a good job again this week, and look for him to surprise some people with his ability against Seymour.

Prediction
Jets 27-Patriots 24

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