Can the Jets Counter Patriots’ Up-Up-Tempo Offense?

The Patriots superfast offense is the talk of the league this year, and while it’s impressive the stats they’ve put up, the team is still 3-3 as they ready for their divisional rival, the Jets.  It’s giving teams who face them fits, and according to ESPN NY Jets DL/LB Calvin Pace called it ‘borderline illegal.’

Yesterday the Jets players talked with reporters about the Patriots and here are some of the impressions of what the Patriots offense is doing against their opponents, via ESPN NY.

Some Jets defensive players said they were struck by how quickly the Patriots ran their offense two weeks ago against the Denver Broncos. In that game, the Patriots ran 94 plays and compiled a team-record 35 first downs.

The Jets said Brady sometimes gets the snap before the defense has a chance to get set, allowing him to exploit vulnerable areas. They’ve seen the Patriots snap the ball with 22 seconds remaining on the play clock.

“It’s very difficult,” linebacker David Harris said. “You’ll see defenses not even lined up and they’re already running a play. They get a lot of extra yardage because of it. It causes guys to lose their mind. You can see it on film.”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

The Patriots are going to be hard for the Jets to stop and their best shot at stopping the Patriots might come from emphasizing turning the ball over.  I don’t know how they are going to do it specifically, but the Jets are going to have to find a way to counter the Patriots up tempo plan and I don’t think it involves extra linemen.  With the Patriots, it never does.  Might the Jets counter it and as they have in the past with some extra defensive backs and linebackers in sub packages — and use those packages more of the time?  I would think so.  Maybe the Jets will play a much more zone-focused defense with those extra defensive backs and then once the Jets defense starts to settle in and Brady starts to figure it out, then the zone starts switching around more on him, disguising their coverages better.

That’s how the Jets might take care of the coverage part, but as far as up front?  The Jets won the playoff game against the Patriots two years ago in large part because Shaun Ellis played out of his ever loving mind.

The Jets are going to need one of the guys on the line to do that very same thing again. If the Patriots aren’t going to let their opponents get enough time to set, then while it’s totally counter-intuitive, the Jets defensive line needs to go wild and slobberknock them into submission and not worry about gap control or whatever.

This is where Rex and Tanny either live or die by their two last first round draft picks.  For years, the Jets have been unable to get adequate pressure with base personnel up front.  It’s been a key to the Giants mastery of the Patriots, now with a maturing Mo Wilkerson and a surging Quinton Coples can the Jets finally do better?  They are going to have to.