A big problem for New England's secondary has been injuries. Free safety Eugene Wilson is on IR, and strong safety Rodney Harrison will miss the game with a knee sprain. The starting safeties will like be inexperienced James Saunders and former cornerback Atrell Hawkins. The Jets should be able to do some damage against this pair.
The Patriots' secondary doesn't have anyone close to a shutdown corner. The starters are Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs. Samuel has actually had a pretty good year with 10 picks, but doesn't have great speed. Hobbs is decent, but has been banged up all season, and is still playing hurt. Hobbs can be too aggressive at times and bites on double moves.
A secondary's best friend is a good pass rush, and the Patriots are solid in this area. Rosie Colvin is a superb pass rusher from his 3-4 outside linebacker spot, and leads the team with 8.5 sacks. The team's ends, Richard Seymour and Ty Warren, are also major threats who each had 7.5 sacks this year.
The bottom line is if the Jets can do a good job protecting Pennington, he can get a lot done against this banged-up secondary.