Part one of breaking down the Jets/Patriots matchup
New York Jets - Passing Yards Per Game - 213.5, 18th in NFL
- Mark Sanchez - 2472 yards passing, 16 TDs, 8 INTs, 55.2 completion percentage
- Braylon Edwards - 35 receptions, 618 yards, 6 TDs
- Dustin Keller - 39 receptions, 528 yards, 5 TDs
- Santonio Holmes - 32 receptions, 491 yards, 4 TDs
- LaDainian Tomlinson - 45 receptions, 329 yards
- Jerricho Cotchery - 29 receptions, 315 yards, 2 TDs
- Brad Smith - 4 receptions, 44 yards
New England Patriots - Opposing Pass Yards - 288.5 per game, 32nd in NFL
- Pat Chung - 71 tackles, 6 PDs, 2 INTs
- Devin McCourty - 61 tackles, 12 PDs, 5 INTs
- Brandon Merriweather - 50 tackles, 4 PDs, 2 INTs
- James Sanders - 45 tackles, 4 PDs, 2 INTs
- Kyle Arrington - 46 tackles, 2 PDs
- Darius Butler - 18 tackles, 2 PDs
The Jets passing offense has started to round into form since the return of Santonio Holmes, who has been electric the previous few weeks. It is essential that they take advantage of a porous New England pass defense, which has struggled to get after the quarterback and is allowing a ton of yards and points. Rookie Devin McCourty is having a hell of a season and making watch Kyle Wilson struggle that much more difficult.
However, there will still be plenty of opportunities for big plays down the field. Mark Sanchez threw for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Week 2 matchup and Dustin Keller carved up the New England linebackers and safeties for 115 yards and a touchdown.
You have to imagine Bill Belichick will focus on taking Keller away. Yet, the Jets didn't even have Santonio Holmes in the Week 2 game. I don't think McCourty is ready to handle Holmes one on one for the bulk of a game yet and even if he does, who will stop Braylon Edwards or Jerricho Cotchery, who is expected to return? Edwards killed the Patriots in the red-zone earlier in the year with a touchdown and 2-point conversion and Cotchery also caught a touchdown.
You have to expect Tom Brady and company to put up their share of points, which means Mark Sanchez needs to bring his A game, like he did in Week 2. The Patriots don't have the talent or depth to cover Edwards, Holmes, Keller and Cotchery, nevermind LaDainian Tomlinson out of the backfield. This is a week for the Jets to flex their immense talent in the passing game because they are more than equipped to go toe-to-toe with Brady's offense.