Jets at Patriots: Five Bold Predictions

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

Some games as a fan feel like this weekend’s matchup against the Patriots — like heading right into the meat grinder. Even so, here’s five bold predictions for the Jets game against Tommy Touchdown at Gillette Stadium Sunday.

1. Jeremy Kerley Will Abuse This Secondary

The Patriots run defense is fearsome, but the Patriots secondary is in shambles. Last week the unit gave up a late touchdown to lose to the Russell Wilson led Rams, but it’s been in trouble all season. The group has had trouble with slot receivers specifically and Jeremy Kerley looks to be hitting his stride in this offense with a 62% catch rate. The Jets might be wise to let Schilens and the Hill Bros. play on the outside and keep Kerley inside where the Patriots seem weakest.

2. LaRon Landry Will Be a Heat-Seeker on Welker

That’s not to say that Landry will be covering Big Welk exclusively, that wouldn’t work at all. But I do think that the Jets will try to use Landry as the back-end of their coverage of Welker – with the express purpose of trying to crunch Welker with hits on some early catches with their new and improved safeties.

3. “Running Back” Tim Tebow Will Throw the Ball At Least Twice

So far, the Jets have only let Tim Tebow throw three passes all season, once in each of the last three games. The biggest play of course came last week on punt duties to Nick Bellore. So with the Jets looking to be down a few men at the running back spot, much has been made of the Jets turning Tim Tebow into a running back this week against the Patriots.

Finally! I’ve been saying since the guy got here that he’s the best throwing running back in the NFL, so the Jets should proverbially shake what their momma gave them and let Tebow run the ball, while also giving him more options to throw it — all in an effort to make him a better runner. Without much of a threat of throwing this season, Tebow has averaged under four yards per carry so far in 2012, down from his 5.0+ career average before arriving at the Jets.

As insane as it sounds, letting him throw the ball (no stupid plays Tim!) will make him a better runner.

4. Shonn Greene Will Have More Yards Receiving than Running

Not counting last night’s game, Marshawn Lynch has been a top ten running back and is running behind one of the best run blocking lines in the league right now. Outside of the Patriots game, Lynch averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Against the Patriots, Lynch averaged just 2.7 yards.

I liked what I saw last week from Greene and the line, but I just don’t see a situation where the Jets running back gets the best of this defense. Yes the Jets are going to run the ball, but should plan on it being not that effective. The Patriots will have a much tougher time covering running backs in the passing game than stopping them between the tackles.

5. Quinton Coples Will Double His Career Sack Total

Last week the Jets first round pick notched his first (and a half) sack of his career. So far the Patriots are letting up just over two sacks a game, but I think that the interior of this line can be beat. Donald Thomas? Ryan Wendell? Dan Connolly? This is a key issue for the Patriots this season and the Jets are the team to pressure the Patriots from the interior. I think Coples could add at least another 1.5 sacks come Sunday.