There seem to be three games left on the Patriots schedule they may lose: @ Eagles, @ Redskins, vs. Dolphins (not to mention the Bills week 17 at Gillette; I don’t believe the Jets created a “blueprint” for beating them, I just felt like the Bills had flaws at receiver, in the secondary and at defensive line all along). Losing every one of these games would open the door, should the Jets win the rest of their games – which isn’t a given – for them to get the division.
First, let’s examine if Jets fans should have any hope for their team this week. It’s difficult to write off that loss in Denver but the positives they can take from it are that they were one Sanchez throw-away from winning and that the defense played good for having 3.5 fewer days to go on the road in high elevation.
Secondly, let’s see the game plans for the three potential Patriots defeats.
Sunday, November 27th, @ Eagles: Being a team prone to mental mistakes, the Eagles cannot let the Pats defense get fumble recoveries and picks. Last season, the Patriots had the worst 3rd down defense but were able to use turnovers as an equalizer (more than anything, they were helped by Tom Brady leading time-consuming touchdown drives every time he got the ball). This year, there are several games that could have gone the other way if not for a careless turnover or two by a Patriots opponent: Chad Henne throwing a stupid fade to Hartline, Rivers throwing a bad red zone INT, Jason Campbell throwing an end zone INT. If Vick uses Shady and Brent Celek in the passing game – and finally uses Avant in the short pass game -, they can make long, methodical drives to limit Brady’s possessions. The Eagles defense has two weeks to start using their secondary properly.
Sunday, December 11th, @ Redskins: Rex has the deep arm to test the inexperienced New England safeties. Brian Orakpo, Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen and rookie Ryan Kerrigan (4 forced fumbles) lead the violent pass rush The two important things to do are protect Rex, and get pressure on Brady. It would be nice if Santana Moss were back. There are some Redskins who were on the team that lost 59-10 in 2007 and will be fired up for this game.
Saturday, December 24th, vs. Dolphins. The Dolphins historically play the Patriots close. The Dolphins D has held four of their last five opponents to under 193 yards passing. I think the Pats could be forced to have Ninkovich and Spikes in coverage against Bush, Fasano and Charles Clay. The Patriots are 32nd against running backs in the passing game, allowing 60.8 yards per game.
Hit “Like” if you still think there’s a chance for the Jets.
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