The Playbook: Inside The Patriots

The Jets continue their 2010 season against one of the AFC's best teams of the past decade. A look at what to expect from the Patriots.

Coming off a decisive 38-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last week, the New England Patriots look to hand the Jets their second loss of the season at the New Meadowlands Stadium this Sunday in a meeting Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez called "more than just a single game." New England will use a speedy defense and an elite passing attack to try and go two games up on the Jets.

When the Patriots have the ball:

New England Head Coach Bill Belichick said his team's challenge this week is finding the right balance on offense. The Jets boast a much stingier defense than the one the Patriots faced last week against the Bengals, so the Patriots' offensive game plan obviously becomes more important in terms of keeping the Patriots players confident while still trying to confuse New York's defense… "If you play against a team and you're so simple, then it makes it relatively easy for them to figure out what you're doing and then tee off on it," Belichick said. "If you're so multiple and you have so many things that match up against so many other things, it's hard to really get them all practiced. That's a problem too, so you try to find that balance…"

That balance will probably consist of a little bit of Randy Moss and a whole lot of Wes Welker.

Welker shredded the Jets' pass defense in the teams' last meeting – a Week 12 New England victory in 2009 – as he made 15 catches for 192 yards. Welker caught two touchdown passes last week and is an obvious matchup nightmare for defenses… Darrelle Revis is expected to blanket Randy Moss, as usual, in this rivalry game, but Revis saw a lot of Derrick Mason (Baltimore's No. 3 wide receiver) and a little of Anquan Boldin (Baltimore's No. 1 wideout) last week, so it will be interesting to see the cornerback matchups for the Jets against a dynamic Patriots' passing attack. New York can't afford to have Antonio Cromartie commit four penalties at corner again. If he does, New England will cash in… Because of an inexperienced Patriot offensive line, the Jets defense shouldn't have a problem shutting down New England's rushing attack that includes Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis… Even if the Jets can get to Brady, the New England signal-caller will still find a deadly rhythm at some point in the game.

When the Jets have the ball:

Entering last week's season-opener, many wondered if a young and inexperience New England defense could hold up against what looked to be a dangerous Cincinnati passing attack that included Carson Palmer, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.

The Patriots responded with a fast defense that saw young secondary guys like Devin McCourty rather unfazed by the Bengals' star-power. The Jets' appalling offensive performance against the Ravens Monday night left a lot to be desired, and the absence of wide receiver Santonio Holmes may be showing its effect. Sanchez will have to take advantage of having big guys like Braylon Edwards and tight end Dustin Keller running routes against New England… The overall game matchup goes something like this: An elite defense against an elite offense, and a slow-starting offense against an up-and-coming defense.

New England's X-Factor:

Welker. Who else. Why? Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan explains: "I've got no answer for him. One thing we've got to do is we've got to hit him… We've got to get our hands on him and not give him free releases. All those kinds of things, we're going to try to do, but he and Brady are a tough combination. He's going to get his catches, but we've just got to limit the run after the catch."

Nick St. Denis covers the Jets for Follow him at www

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