Pats Preview Part 4 - The Offense

The Patriots continue to use a two-headed monster at tailback with Corey Dillon and Larry Maroney. They ran all over the Jets in the first meeting.

Dillon ran 20 times for 80 yards. Maroney had 16 carries for 65 yards. Both had touchdowns and long gains of 14 yards. In the second game, the Jets played the run a little better. The Patriots did run for 143 yards, but if you take out the 50-yard jaunt by Dillon early, they ran 24 times for 98 yards on the rest of their carries.

The Patriots' offensive line is solid, led by their talented longtime line coach Dante Scarnechia. The Patriots have one of the NFL's better centers in Dan Koppen, and two brawlers at guard with Logan Mankins and Stephen Neal. The left tackle is the always-solid Matt Light. Right tackle has been a little problematic due to injuries. The Jets will either face second-year tackle Nick Kaszur or rookie Ryan O'Callaghan, or both.

TE Daniel Graham is an outstanding run blocker.

Tom Brady just has an 87.9 quarterback rating, and threw 12 picks this year, but he still can never be taken lightly. The Patriots like to use a spread offense because it takes advantage of Brady's amazing ability to read defenses and see the field.

But Brady doesn't have as many weapons to spread the ball around to as in the past.

The Patriots have three talented receiving tight ends in Ben Watson, Daniel Graham and David Thomas. With his exotic size-speed ratio and top-shelf intelligence, Watson seems poised for greatness. Watson was having a terrific season this year (49 catches) until hurting his knee late in the season. His status is a mystery for the Jets game.

The Jets had issues with the tight ends in the first match-up. Graham got behind Eric Barton for a gain of 29 yards, and Thomas had a gain of 29 yards when left wide open.

Running back Kevin Faulk is one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, and a major threat on third down. He is tied for third on the team in receptions with 43.

Wide receiver has been a weakness of the Pats after losing Deion Branch and David Givens. Free-agent pickup Reche Caldwell has turned into Brady's favorite wide-receiver target, and led the team with 61 receptions. But the Jets can certainly handle him.

The Jets' pass defense was excellent in the team's win at New England thanks in large part to a terrific pass rush. The Jets did a great job blitzing, with Victor Hobson and Kerry Rhodes playing key roles. Shaun Ellis iced the win when he blew by Kaczur to sack Brady at the end of the game. This is a mismatch the Jets should be able to take advantage of again.


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