Believe it or not, in Week 6 of the NFL, the New York Jets have a legitimate chance at sole possession of first place in the AFC East.
While on the other side of the coin, the often conservative New England Patriots went balls to the wall to improve every facet of the team in the offseason, or so they thought. With all the new key acquisitions, the Patriots were projected by many to go undefeated, again.
Initially, it appeared that the Jets were headed down their projected path. They started the season 0-2 and looked helpless. While contrarily, the Patriots looked vulnerable, their undefeated campaign ended before it even began.
Losing to the still unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs in Foxboro on opening night. While the Patriots have fielded arguably one of the worst defenses in NFL history in the process.
That’s the Jets opening on Sunday. In the past, the Patriots have forced the Jets into stupid turnovers which have given Tom Brady short fields to work with. IE the Jets were out of these games pretty quick.
The Patriots are vulnerable. While they come into this contest with the same record as the Jets, it’s not what it appears. This team realistically could’ve, would’ve, and probably should’ve been 1-4 — which would include an 0-3 mark at home for the Patriots. Hard to imagine.
Unfortunately the teams the Pats were playing choked away those opportunities. That’s something the Jets must avoid on Sunday, if they have a chance to step on the Pats’ throat, they can’t hesitate or make a mistake.
According to the ESPN FPI Analytics, the Jets shouldn’t have a realistic chance in this game.
- Pats have an 82.9% chance of victory
- New England is a 9.5 point favorite
Good thing the games aren’t played on paper. Plus if this NFL season hasn’t taught you anything thus far, you haven’t been paying attention. Anything can happen. A + B doesn’t always equal C.
For one example in the trillion of possibilities out there. The Jacksonville Jaguars blew out the Houston Texans at home Week 1. The Houston Texans blew out the Tennessee Titans. While the Jaguars then lost to the Jets in overtime. Before turning around and blowing out the Pittsburgh Steelers in the steel city.
In fact, the Jaguars beat Pitt so bad that Ben Roethlisberger started to question whether he still had it anymore. The moral of this story is anything is possible. Although for Jets fans absorbing this in, this isn’t optimistic Paul Jets fan talking to you, the more I see this matchup, the more I see a realistic chance for gang green to compete in this one.
So what’s the way for them to compete and potentially win this game?
It’s time to throw the Josh McCown training wheels out the window.
Here are the stats for the Pats on defense:
- The Patriots are allowing over 29 points per game
- Over 450 yards of offense allowed on defense
- Specifically 340+ yards through the air
The Jets best chance of victory is a balanced approach that is slightly favoring the passing game. They’ve got a bevy of weapons. While it may not be caviar that they’re working with, it’ll get the job done.
Robby Anderson may have inconsistent hands, but he’s got speed and that could be a long touchdown waiting to happen. Plus the ultimate advantage is that this game is being played in the lovely confines of MetLife Stadium. The Jets are undefeated at home this season.
While back to McCown because you can have all the weapons in the world, but if you can’t get the ball to them well then you’re screwed.
McCown has a 90+ QBR, he’s averaging over 250 yards through the air, and his touchdown to interception ratio is basic (5:4). As a Jets fan, I should probably just be satisfied that he’s thrown more touchdowns than interceptions.
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He’s a savvy veteran that hasn’t made the critical mistake yet this season. Instead, he’s opted to become captain check-down, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Against the Patriots you’ve got to take what’s in front of you but can’t be afraid of taking the shot when it’s there.
The Jets have to keep the crowd into it and get Tom Brady off his spot. So with that lets jump over to the defensive side of the ball. Brady is dealing with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. He won’t be 100% so the Jets should move the pocket and force a quarterback who already has restricted mobility because he’s old, white, and slow.
Force him off his spot and make him uncomfortable which could lead to non-Brady like things to happen like turning the ball over. Something he has only done once in terms of throwing picks this season.
The only problem is two of the Jets’ biggest stars in Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams have yet to make a sack this season. While the coaches and players have downplayed the statistical anomaly it’s worth noting.
These players need to have huge games. Williams is the future of the program. While Wilkerson is getting older, he can still be effective, and he better hope so with his future up in the air with an uncertain contract status.
If the Jets can get some things going through the air and make Brady uncomfortable, that could be a winning recipe on Sunday. Imagine that, the tanking Jets could have sole possession of first place in the AFC East after six weeks of football. Tank on that haters!