Jon Scott of Patriots Insider asked Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential ten questions about New EnYork for this week's matchup. Here are the next five questions covering the Jets Offense. Don't miss the other three parts of the series: Jets - Patriots
1) Its been said that the team will not pull Mark Sanchez now that he has the starting job, even though backup Kellen Clemens may give them a better opportunity. Whats your take on the QB situation? Do you think the team would be able to win some of these close ones if Clemens were in the game?
Dan Leberfeld: Its highly unlikely hes going to be replaced at any point the rest of the year, barring injury. If the Jets beat New England, they are back in the playoff hunt, so there is no way they were replace him in this scenario. If they lose to the Patriots, they are likely out of contention, so they would want to get him all the reps the rest of the year to continue his maturation process.
Perhaps the two games Clemens could have helped the Jets were in the losses to New Orleans and Buffalo, two clunkers for Sanchez. But honestly, I dont think Clemens is better than Sanchez, even though he has more experience. Sanchez seems to have better instincts than Clemens, better at keeping plays alive, and dealing with the pass rush.
So in shot, there is no way, barring an injury, that the Jets are going to pull Sanchez.
2) What is the best way to defend the Jets offense, and what has that led to their losing streak?
Leberfeld: The best way to stop the Jets offense is stopping their running game. That obviously isnt very easy to do since they are #1 in the league. Their offensive line is outstanding, and Thomas Jones hasnt lost a thing at 31, and is thriving behind the Jets Front Five. And his new backup Shonn Greene, taking the place of the injured Leon Washington, has star potential. Greene is a big back with terrific quickness.
If you stop the Jets running game, and make them one dimensional, with a rookie quarterback, and make him throw more than the Jets want him to. The Jets passing offense is 27th in the NFL, so obviously its not a strength of the team, so if you make them pass happy, you should be able beat this team.
The losing streak isnt one thing. The Jets lost against Miami was because of bad special teams. Against Jacksonville, they had issues with Maurice Jones-Drew. Every loss has been a different blueprint.
3) How big of a loss was losing Leon Washington? How has it changed what the Jets can do on offense since Washington went on I/R?
Leberfeld: It was a big loss, especially this week. Washington had been platooning with Jim Leonhard as the Jets punt returner, and now Leonhard has a broken right thumb and cant return punts, and Gang Green is without both their punt returners.
As for Washington as a kick returner, they miss him here also, but honestly, before he got hurt, Leon and the Jets kick return game was non-descript. But clearly, the Jets miss the explosive Washington in many ways.
4) The Jets are able to run the ball well averaging over 179 yards per game to lead the league. Is it due to big plays, poor defenses, good gameplans or something else?
Leberfeld: There are few things at work here.
The Jets offensive line might be the best in the league. Four of the plays were first round picks (not all by the Jets). Right guard Brandon Moore is the only one who wasnt, but hes a heck of a player. This is a smart, talented group, that came back intact this year, and works well together. They also have an outstanding coach in Bill Callahan. The former Oakland Raider and Nebraska coach is a brilliant offensive line coach. Over the last couple of years, hes done a suburb job coaching this unit, and has been especially impactful developing DBrickshaw Ferguson who has gone from an average player, to one of the leagues best left tackles under Callahans tutelage.
And as I mentioned before, the Jets have two really talented running backs in cerebral, rugged Thomas Jones, and promising rookie Shonn Greene.
This is an outstanding running attack, and New England has a big challenge ahead of them.
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