Jets - Patriots Preview
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 11:10
The New England Patriots and New York Jets will renew their rivalry Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. both teams hope to come out on the better side of .500. Each team currently holds a record of 3-3 in the AFC East standings along with the rest of the division producing a four-way tie for first (or last) with Buffalo and Miami. Tom Brady and the Pats are looking to get back on track and add a win to their record, as they square off against the Jets in the first of two meetings this season.
The Patriots are coming off a tough loss to the Seattle Seahawks where they displayed a lack of execution on defense and the inability to score in the red zone. The Jets, on the other hand, are riding their high horse after pounding the Indianapolis Colts 35-9. It’s an important week for both teams but on Sunday here’s what you should be looking for.
- The Patriots are looking to test the Jets’ defensive depth, as the Jets have lost cornerback Darrelle Revis for the year and are thin on defense without him. While Antonio Cromartie has stepped up well in the position, the Jets defense is still not as threatening as it once was. The Patriots will try to take advantage of the Jets with their fast-paced offense, which Jets linebacker Calvin Pace called “borderline illegal” because of how fast the Patriots set up their plays. If the Pats are able to keep the Jets defense off-guard, they should be able to pound the rock, and maintain that uptempo-style offense.
- Aaron Hernandez was back on the field last Sunday, and although his participation was limited, his presence was felt immediately as he caught six passes for 30 yards and scored a touchdown. Look for Hernandez to get more playing time this Sunday as he works his way back from his ankle injury. If Hernandez, Gronkowski and Welker see a lot of passes (which is likely), the offense should have no trouble scoring touchdowns.
- Tim Tebow could find himself at running back on Sunday because of the injuries to backups Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell, who are unlikely to play in the game. Tebow’s versatility could cause some problems for the Pats defense. Jets coach Rex Ryan said, “The thing about Tim, with him being a football player like we’ve always talked about, by playing quarterback he knows all the positions and so, can you plug him in at running back? Can you plug him in at tight end, whatever? I think the answer is yes.” Tebow’s role with the Jets has been limited so far, but don’t be surprised if he sees some time at running back this Sunday.
It’s too early to panic, but Sunday’s game is very important for the Patriots.
"We're 3-3. We haven't earned a better record than that," Brady said. "We haven't played well enough and consistently enough to be better than that, but I don't think six games defines a season and I think that what will define our season is what we do over the course of the next 10 weeks."
We will see if the Patriots can right the ship on Sunday.