Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comNo baby yet … Here’s some things to watch in today’s matchup with the Patriots.
Up the Gut — In typical Belichick fashion, he’s been cagey about who will fill in for Jerod Mayo, but expect Jamie Collins or Dane Fletcher in that role. Both have some skill and athleticism, but this is a new role for them made harder by the fact that the defense’s best player Vince Wilfork is similarly out for the season. Look to see if the Jets don’t try to outmatch the replacement with Ivory and Powell. I’d expect that the replacement will serve, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jets break a few right through the middle of the defense.
Secondary Chance — Brady had one of his worst career games the last time these two teams played. Credit the Jets defense, but a major part was the receivers on the Patriots side. Cromartie has been dealing with some injuries in the last few games and hasn’t had the season he expected for himself. The Jets look to have Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner back for this game … can this triumverate help to stop Brady?
Geno Time — Geno has been up and down all season. Today, Smith plays against a secondary without their best playmaker, Aqib Talib. The Patriots will use some combination of Kyle Arrington, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan in replacement. Opposite, Alfonzo Dennard has had a terrible season, but the Patriots will likely place Devin McCourty (14 INTs in three seasons though none so far this year) over the top and set up more trap plays for the rookie QB. Can Geno tell which are which?
Hold the Line — The Jets have racked up 20 sacks so far through six games. The Patriots offensive line will likely be without RG Dan Connolly and backup Marcus Cannon might also be unable to play because of a shoulder injury. OG Will Svitek has missed time this season with a knee injury, but could play. Who will play for the Patriots at that spot? If the Jets want to upset the passing offense’s rhythm, the best opportunity will be through the center / right guard gap. Look for Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and maybe most likely Sheldon Richardson to be let loose on passing downs in that one-technique spot.