Point / Counterpoint: Patriots vs Jets

<p>This week's matchup pits the AFC East New England Patriots against division rival New York Jets, on Sunday. Our staff have taken a look at the individual units of each team and given their take on what each team needs to do unit-by-unit in order to have a chance to win.</p> <p>The Insiders from both teams have given reasons why the Patriots may not be able to continue their current unprecedented winning streak.</p>

PHOTO: New England Patriots running back Corey Dillon (28) jumps over Seattle Seahawk defensive end Grant Wiistrom (96) and free safety Ken Hamlin (26) during the Patriots victory over the Seahawks.


Game: New York Jets at New England Patriots
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro Mass.
When: Sunday October 24, 2004, 4:15pm EST

Unit by Unit Matchup

From the Jets Perspective:
by Matthew Zagelbaum JCO
Jets Confidential Online
  From the Patriots Perspective:
by John MacKenna, PI
Patriots Insider

Matt writes for the Jets Confidential and has provided analysis on the matchups addressing the game from the Jets point of view.


  John writes for the Patriots Insider, and has provided analysis on the game from the Patriots point of view.

When the Jets have the ball:


When the Patriots have the ball:

Paul Hackett, the Jets Offensive Coordinator, is an old fashioned type of guy who uses the run to open up the pass. The Patriots' have averaged giving up 111.8 yards a game on the ground so far this season. Curtis Martin is averaging 26.4 carries a game and 122.6 yards a game in 2004. From all angles look for Hackett to exploit the run.

Chad Pennington is currently ranked 4th in passer rating in the AFC. That's not surprising considering Chad does not like to throw the ball unless he knows his receiver has a great shot at catching the ball. He has completed over 70% of his passes, and has only two interceptions thrown through 152 pass attempts. He is precise and accurate, and has a lot of talent to throw to. If Santana Moss is healthy, the Jets will have 5 WR's, that are all deep threats. Look for a lot of play action and deep throwing plays throughout the game. If the Patriots' secondary manages to cover deep, then watch for Pennington throw to the Jerald Sowell, who leads the NFL in Receptions for a fullback.

Anthony Becht, often viewed as a cancer in the passing game, was a delight last week when he caught the ball on numerous occasions, and did what the Jets always wanted him to do. He used his size to get the extra yards.

One player who hasn't seen much playing time this year is 2nd string RB LaMont Jordan. Hackett worked him in for one series last week, and he ended up being the catalyst of the game. The Touchdown he scored in the 3rd quarter paved the way for the Jets to come from behind and win.


Injuries to Deion Branch (doubtful) and Troy Brown (questionable) leave the Patriots thin at wide receiver, but the offense should move the ball at least as well as it did against the Seahawks (362 total yards).

Starting wideouts David Givens and David Patten are both playing well and should get the better of Jets CBs Roderick Bryant and Donnie Abraham. Tight end Daniel Graham is coming on as a receiver, as evidenced by his team-leading 5 TD catches. With his speed and size, Graham is a mismatch for Jets safeties Erik Coleman and Reggie Tongue.

Look for the Patriots to play a lot of two-tight-end formations. Christian Fauria has only three receptions this year, but Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis might call his number more often this week. Fauria catches the ball well and has the trust of QB Tom Brady.

Another option is RB Kevin Faulk, who is very elusive after the catch. Faulk caught four balls last week against the Seahawks.

Brady has been intercepted once in each of the last two home games after throwing no interceptions at Gillette Stadium during the 2003 regular season. The Patriots are expecting a tight game, so look for a more conservative game with a few long balls thrown in. Brady and Bethel Johnson connected on a 48-yarder last Sunday that buried the Seahawks.

The Pats will lean heavily on RB Corey Dillon again. He carried 23 times last week and should enjoy another successful day against the Jets. The Jets are holding opponents to 100 rushing yards a game, but they haven't faced an offense like this one.

When the Patriots have the ball:


When the Jets have the ball:

1st year Defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson has totally revamped this defense. The Jets were 21st last year in all purpose yards given up a game, this year Donnie has them at 11th.

The Jets Defensive Line is considered by some the best DL in football, and by others the most overrated. Either way you look at it they still are good. John Abraham has really stepped it up this year and hasn't slowed down. He has 7 sacks and 16 Tackles (all Solo). Almost all doubts about 2nd year DT Dewayne Robertson have seemed to slip away. Dewayne has been causing havoc up the middle along with Jason Ferguson. They have combined for 27 tackles.

The Secondary has been a bit shaky as of now, but shouldn't be much to worry about considering Herman Edwards (the head coach) was a defensive back himself, and Donnie Henderson was the Defensive Backs coach for the Ravens up until this year. Erik Coleman is making a serious case for Defensive Rookie of The Year. The 6th round pick has 2 INT's on the year. Derrick Strait is listed as OUT for Sundays chessmatch. Ray Mickens is also not playing, he was placed on IR earlier in the year. Shouldn't be too much of a problem since John McGraw and Derek Pagal have been great and will play in the Nickel and Dime packages.

Nothing but amazing can describe the Jets LB's. 2004 1st round draft pick Jonathan Vilma has been filling in for the injured Sam Cowart at MLB, and has been playing like a veteran. Barton, Hobson, and Vilma have a combined 67 tackles through this year.

Look for the Jets to completely shut down the Patriots running game. They have given up 500 yards on the ground through 5 games, which comes out to a pretty nice average. Jets are 8th in the NFL in rushing defense.


The Jets could have a very effective day against the Patriots, who surrendered 443 yards and 23 first downs to the Seahawks. RB Curtis Martin is averaging 122 yards a game on 26 attempts, and the Jets will put the ball in his hands often.

New England has been susceptible to the run, surrendering nearly 112 yards per game. RDE Richard Seymour is dominant, and the Jets will likely avoid the left side, running instead at second-year DE Ty Warren. They might also test the middle, which is manned by rookie Vince Wilfork and veteran Keith Traylor.

Martin does a lot of damage running outside, and the Patriots will shadow him with veteran OLBs Willie McGinest and Mike Vrabel, who will work to turn him inside. The Patriots have a very strong trio of inside linebackers in Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson and Roman Phifer. After being limited by injuries for several years, Johnson is starting and is fourth on the Patriots with 26 tackles.

The Patriots get superb run support from safeties Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson and cornerback Ty Law. Harrison leads the Pats with 44 tackles.

Pennington had a lot of trouble with the Patriots in last year's second game, when he threw five interceptions and was sacked five times. New England has only seven interceptions this year, but their physical play should disrupt the Jets' quick passing game.

The Patriots have lots of strong pass rushers, and they're really coming on in the last two weeks. If Pennington has to hold the ball, he'll see a lot of Rosevelt Colvin, Jarvis Green, Vrabel, Seymour and McGinest.

Key Matchups:


Key Matchups:

Jets WR's vs. New England's young secondary

Jets OL vs. Pats DL, and LB's

Belichick vs. former team

John Abraham vs. Joe Andruzzi


Patriots OLT Matt Light vs. Jets DE/LB John Abraham

Patriots OLBs Vrabel, McGinest and Colvin vs. Jets RB Martin

Patriots WRs Givens and Patten vs. Jets CBs Bryant and D. Abraham

Jets kickoff team vs. Patriots KR Bethel Johnson

Possible Turning Point of the Game:


Possible Turning Point of the Game:

A late INT in the game could totally change the pace of the game. If the Jets can shut off the Pats passing game and the Pats can't stop the run, Curtis will run our way into victory.


The Patriots should be able to move the ball and score, so the game hinges on the Jets' ability to keep up. Pennington was ineffective in his last December's matchup because his receivers couldn't get open.

If the Jets can complete some downfield passes and hurt the Patriots with short throws to Martin and Jerald Sowell, New York might be able to keep the game close and win on a turnover or a big play.

Other Factors:


Other Factors:

Health: OG Pete Kendall has been upgraded to PROBABLE for Sunday. He would definitely make a big impact on Martin's performance

Kicking: Doug Brien has been making a name for himself in the NFL as an accurate kicker. Two weeks ago he showed that he also has a very good leg. He can make a big impact if the Jets run into a lot of 4th downs in Patriot territory.


Health: For the Pats, OT Tom Ashworth is questionable with a back injury. If he misses the game, the Patriots could suffer breakdowns in pass protection and run blocking. Jets WR Santana Moss is nursing a sore hamstring. The Jets need his speed to stretch the defense.

Motivation: If the Jets end the Patriots record winning streak, they will be heroes in New York for sticking it to the fans of New England on the heels of the Yankees' excruciating ALCS loss to the Red Sox. Head Coach Herman Edwards needs to make them believe. Meanwhile, the Patriots have to suffer a letdown sometime.

Coaching: Jets Offensive Coordinator Paul Hackett needs a plan to keep the Jets' receivers from being overpowered by the Patriots aggressive DBs. If Ty Law & Co shut down Moss, Wayne Chrebet and Justin McCareins, it could be another long day for Pennington.




The streak has to end sometime. The Jets seem to be a good choice to do it. I think this game will be decided by a late TD or FG that would put one team ahead of the other.

If the Pennington comes to play he will show Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel just how inexperienced they are.


This is a big game, and the Patriots will once again be prepared and motivated. The Jets have a well-balanced attack, but they match up badly with the Patriots and will leave with their first loss of the season.

Score: Jets 13, Pats 10


Score: Patriots 24, Jets 20

For More Info:   For More Info:

Analyst: Matthew Zagelbaum

URL: http://www.jetsconfidential.com


Analyst: John MacKenna

URL: http://www.patriotsinsider.com

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