New-fangled Pat passing attack big challenge

Sunday will mark the official unveiling of the Nuevo New England Patriots offense, potentially one of the most potent in recent history.

The additions of wide receivers Randy Moss, Donte' Stallworth and Wes Welker brings with it rather large expectations, and an added element of the unknown.

Nobody doubts the abilities of Tom Brady. And the general consensus is that if Brady can win while throwing to a collection of no-names, like he did last year, then he will be downright lethal when tossing to a group as talented as the one that now flanks him.

"Anytime you can add the players that you outlined [Moss, Stallworth and Welker] that's always going to make you, or should be able to make you, more productive," Jets coach Coach Eric Mangini said on Monday.

First up to try their hand at defending the new-look Patriot air attack is the New York Jets.

Despite appearing nearly unstoppable on paper, the Patriots receiving corps has its fair share of uncertainty. Stallworth, although blindingly fast, is yet to eclipse 1000 yards in a season, and has been plagued by injuries most of his career.

Moss underperformed while in Oakland and has been banged throughout training camp.

With chemistry between quarterback and receiver playing such a vital role to the success of an offense, the lack of time Brady and Moss have spent together is a valid concern.

"The expectations are high for the receiver position." Brady said on a conference call Wednesday. "We put a lot on our receivers to go out and perform, to really do their job. And their job, when it comes to the little things, isn't only about catching passes. There is a complete awareness that we need from our receiving corps. I wish we could have been out there for every practice of training camp, but that just wasn't the reality."

Valid concerns that make this Patriot aerial attack, at the very least, less than invincible, right now.

The Patriots passing offense clearly presents a difficult challenge to the Jets secondary, and one that may hold the key to Sunday's matchup.

Although Andre Dyson and David Barrett are likely to start at the two cornerback slots, Darrelle Revis likely will see his first professional action in relief, or as a nickel back. Not only will the rookie from Pittsburgh have to compete against what could shape up to be one of the NFL's premier receiving corps, but also against Brady, unquestionably one of the game's premier passers. A daunting task for any cornerback, let alone one who is yet to play a professional game.

"He is a great quarterback and you have to compete against him." Revis said. "This is the NFL. This is not a kid's game. It's a man's game."

Indeed, this is a man's game, and Sunday should prove to be quite the indoctrination for Revis and the rest of the Jets defensive backfield.


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