Keys to victory against the Patriots? Really? With New England’s suspect defense, the New York Jets actually have a chance to win.The New York Jets have done what many have thought impossible: go on a three-game winning streak. The Jets squeaked out a 17-14 win over the Cleveland Browns last week. It wasn’t an overly impressive victory, but a win is a win.
The Browns had two missed field goals along with two turnovers in the red zone. They also decided to go for it on fourth and two deep within Jets territory and were stuffed by Gang Green.
If the Browns capitalized on their opportunities it easily would have been a loss for the Jets. They are simply going to have to play better this week against the New England Patriots, or it will be a long day.
It’s the Patriots that are favored to win this game, no surprise there. The New York Jets are a nine-point underdog. Although some believe that the Jets could win this game.
That said, let’s take a look at the keys to victory for the New York Jets this week.
Rob Gronkowski is having himself another strong season so far. The monster-sized tight end has 20 receptions, 318 yards, and two receiving touchdowns.
Furthermore, Gronk has done some damage to the New York Jets over his career. In 11 games, he has tallied 54 receptions for 655 yards and six touchdowns.
Jets fans do not want to see this happen at all this week.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady loves to throw to Gronkowski when facing the Jets. In Gronkowski’s 11 games vs the Jets, Brady has targeted him on average of eight times per game.
The Jets struggled last week to stop Browns tight end David Njoku. He had three catches for 48 yards and a one-handed touchdown grab.
But there’s some good news: The Jets have allowed the ninth-fewest points to opposing tight ends this year. While Gronk is better than your average tight end, maybe there’s some hope that they can at least contain him.
Like most quarterbacks, Tom Brady doesn’t like to be pressured. If he sits in the pocket all day he will pick apart the defense. He has a sprained shoulder on his non-throwing arm but is expected to play. But he’s feeling some discomfort. Hitting him will produce more discomfort.
It’s time for Muhammed Wilkerson and Leonard Williams to wake up! Neither one has a sack this season. The Jets need these guys to start impacting games the way we know they’re capable of.
Offense Must Find The End Zone
This sounds obvious, I know, but similar to our keys to victory vs. Oakland in Week 2, Gang Green’s offense will have to be clicking on all cylinders to stay with New England’s high-powered offense.
The Patriots defense is far from elite and has struggled this season. They are currently allowing 447.2 yards per game, the most in the NFL. They’ve allowed the second-most points per game (28.4).
Josh McCown and the Jets offense must remain aggressive. They must convert on third downs to keep drives alive. Winning the time of possession battle is crucial. The longer that they can keep drives going, the longer they are keeping Brady, Gronkowski, and the Patriots offense off the field.
Keeping drives alive is fine, but the Jets must finish them. Field goals aren’t going to be enough to beat New England. New York must find the end zone.
McCown has been solid this season. Going up against a defense that has not generated a pass rush, he should have time to throw the football. And with having time, he has to take his shots down the field.
This is also a game where the Jets offense can’t shoot themselves in the foot. They can’t turnover the football or commit boneheaded penalties.
Final Thoughts and Prediction
The Jets have been a roll the past few weeks, but they will really find out where they stand after this game. Gang Green had a bit of soft spot in the schedule but that’s about to change.
Not much was expected from them this season, but at 3-2 they have a chance this week to prove that they are for real. Look for the Jets to have success on offense going up against a struggling defense.
But even though this Jets defense is a lot better than some have thought, I do believe that New England’s offense will be too much too handle.
It will be interesting to see who the Jets put on Gronk, but whoever it is I do see him getting the better of the matchup and continuing his dominance.
I sure do hope I am wrong as nothing makes me happier than seeing the Patriots fall, but I’ve got the Jets losing by eight, 31-23.