SB Nation NY Top Five: Ways For Jets To Upset Patriots

LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets celebrates after he scored a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8 2011 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The top five ways for the Jets to upset the Patriots.

I just can't stomach the thought of it. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots ending the Jets season. I know it is expected to happen. Why wouldn't New England be heavy favorites? They have been the best team in the NFL all season and smacked the Jets 45-3 only a few weeks ago. However, you have to hope for the upset so let's start off this week with five ways for the Jets to beat the Patriots.

1) Run the football and control the clock.The best defense against Tom Brady is to keep him off the field. The 10 and 17-play drives the Jets had against the Colts are exactly the kind of thing they need this week. LaDainian Tomlinson needs to bring it, like he brought it last week. Shonn Greene has to help wear down the defense and Mark Sanchez has to be accurate in the short passing game. If the Jets can shorten the game, they can keep it close.

2) Win the special teams battle. Brad Smith's health will be an issue all week. Regardless, the Jets have weapons in the return game. It doesn't matter who is returning kicks or punts, the Jets need to break a big return or two to swing field position and create points. Beyond that, Nick Folk has to be money and the Jets gunners must do a better job of downing Steve Weatherford's punts inside the 20.

3) Empty the playbook. This is the type of game, where you leave no stone unturned in the playbook. A surprise onside back, a fake punt, trick plays on offense, a defensive package New England has never seen before...something that can grab an advantage.

4) Make them work for it. Similar to when the Jets beat Indy the past week, cover before you blitz. Keep everything in front of you on defense and make New England put together 10, 12, 15-play drives to score points. Don't let them collect points with quick-strike plays. You have to hope to bend but not break in the red-zone, get a tipped pass that can turn into an interception, or knock the ball out to create a fumble on one of their long drives.

5) Something special. The Jets are going to need an elite effort from some of their top players. Whether it is Sanchez playing the game of his life, Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards going off for 140 receiving yards, Greene popping a 50-yard touchdown run, David Harris coming up with a strip sack, or Darrelle Revis returning an interception to the house...they are going to need big plays from their best.

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