BGA Preview: Patriots at Jets

During the season, Bent’s Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets’ upcoming opponents, enabling a break down of what to watch out for on gameday…

The Jets and Patriots meet today in a game the heavily favored Patriots cannot afford to lose if they want to lock down homefield advantage throughout the postseason. While the Jets fell out of postseason contention over a month ago, their players will still be eager to put one over on their old rivals and perform well for Rex Ryan in their final home game of the season and maybe of his Jets career. While most anticipated a blowout, the Jets almost (and probably should have) won the match-up between the teams earlier this season. They also beat the Patriots in overtime last season. The Patriots blew the Jets out by at least 17 points once in each of Rex Ryan’s first four seasons but all three games since the start of last season have been decided by three points or less.

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) to try and highlight what the Jets need to look out for.

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Candidates Corner: Hotshot GM Candidates

Brian Bassett,

Since today is “Penalty Flag Day” at Met Life stadium, here’s a list of potential candidates for the #FireJohnIdzik set to consider that would be on their first stop as an NFL general manager.

Chris Ballard, director of player personnel, Kansas City Chiefs:    Ballard was a hot name year ago when he removed himself from the equation of the Tampa bay search.  He’s got deep experience as an evaluator of both college and professional players.


Former Dolphin evaluator Brian Gaine was an early consideration for the Jets GM job in 2013.

Brian Gaine, director of pro personnel, Houston TexansGaine has ties to the Jets from his work there years ago and is known most recently for his time with the Dolphins and is considered a bright young star who worked under the Parcells/Ireland marriage in Miami.  Gaine’s name was in the mix for the Jets two years ago as a potential candidate and he’s only gotten more experience since then.

Tom Gamble, vice president of player personnel, Philadelphia EaglesGamble was a big part of the success of the draft talent in San Francisco before he joined the Eagles to work for Chip Kelly.  The Jets were close to hiring Gamble two years ago, but it fell apart, see if the Jets don’t return to talk with Gamble again.

Will McClay, assistant director of player personnel, Dallas Cowboys: McClay might be the power behind the throne in Dallas and was likely the reason that the team passed on Johnny Manziel in favor of an offensive line player who has cemented this Dallas unit in 2014.  With the recent success of the Cowboys, McClay’s work will be considered league wide as a solid GM candidate.

Terry McDonough, vice president of player personnel, Arizona Cardinals: McDonough has ties to organizational excellence in Belichick (Cleveland) and Newsome (Baltimore), and his work to build the Arizona back into a strongly competitive team in the NFC West have taken the stink off his days in Jacksonville.

Matt Russell, director of player personnel, Denver Broncos: Russell will need to explain a 2013 DUI arrest to potential new employers, but he has been an important part in the day to day operations for Denver and is widely considered one of the NFL’s best talent evaluators for college-level talent.


Duke Tobin has built the Bengals up in recent years

Duke Tobin, director of player personnel, Cincinnati Bengals: Tobin is a second generation evaluator (his father ran the Colts, but is better known for this) and Duke is a huge part of the recent success of the Bengals.  With no true GM in Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis leans on Duke Tobin in both college and pro scouting as the de facto GM.  Tobin has done an impressive job in building back one of the league’s most talented rosters with some of the most notoriously few resources.  Expect the Jets to keep a close eye on Tobin.

Lionel Vital, director of player personnel, Atlanta Falcons: Vital was a finalist in Tampa last year and has learned from both Belichick and Newsome.

Eliot Wolf, director of pro personnel, Green Bay Packers: The son of famous GM Ron Wolf, is likely a little too young at a tender 32 years old, but the success of a GM like John Schneider in Seattle might make one team willing to take the plunge.  Woody has hired a young GM already when he did it in 2006 with Mike Tannenbaum.

Quote: Study or be studied

“You’d better study going against him because he’s going to be studying you.  You can tell by watching film. There are a lot of times where he finishes routes for the receivers. He’ll have me figured out. So I have to have him figured out.”

– Percy Harvin on matching up against Darrelle Revis

Outsider’s View: New England Patriots Week 16 (Offense)

I know some of you are fond of Football Outsiders, (as am I) so once the season gets underway and trends start developing, looking at an opponent’s rankings on Football Outsiders helps to give fans some perspective.

(As a heads up, negative percentages are good on defense, bad on offense & specials)

Pass Offense: 43.3% (4th)
Rush Offense: -6.3% (18th)
O-Line Ranking: Run 5th / Pass-Protection 2nd

Brian Bassett,

Analysis: The Patriots are one of the best offenses that the Jets will have seen this year but believe it or not, they’ve played better and played them well.  To date, the Jets played Green Bay, a close 31-24 loss in which Aaron Roders was held in check must of the first half.  They have played Denver in a one-sided 31-17 loss and they have played Pittsburgh.  Against the Steelers, the Jets won a shocking 20-13 game coming off Big Ben’s 12 TDs in his prior two games.  Those are the only three teams which ranked ahead of the New England Patriots in total offensive efficiency, according to Football Outsiders.

So what does that mean for the Jets?  Will the Jets be able to slow or stop the Patriots?  One of the AFC favorites to head to this year’s Super Bowl?
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