Yesterday we went over a defensive game plan for the Jets against the Patriots, here is a look at the other side of the ball...
First and foremost, run the football. The Jets greatest hope for an upset this week is to shorten the game by controlling the clock with their ground attack. If the Jets can reach 40 attempts between LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Greene, and Brad Smith, they will be in good shape. Arguably this team's greatest strength is their offensive line led by Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Tomlinson needs to run with the same fire he did last week and Greene is healthy and fresh enough to wear down the New England front seven.
Tomlinson seems to recognize he has accomplished everything in his career, except for putting together a signature stretch of games in the playoffs. He got off to a good start last week with 2 touchdowns and 99 total offensive yards. His history against New England isn't pretty but he has a chance to rewrite the history on his post-season career with a big game Sunday. He should be in line for 15-20 carries and 3-5 receptions as a safety valve for Mark Sanchez.
We have been waiting for Greene to pop the big run all season. If the Jets are going to do the impossible on Sunday, a long run from Greene in the second half will likely be part of the reason. I don't think we will see Brad Smith on special teams but he will suit up and remain part of the Jets offensive game plan in their Tiger formation.
In the passing game, the bulk of what the Jets do should be in the short to intermediate area. Hopefully the running game is setting up third and shorts, where Sanchez can target Dustin Keller, who New England has traditionally had a tough time covering and his receivers on the slant routes, which he throws so well. However, the Jets need to pick their spots to take their shots down the field off the play action. Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are going to have mismatches on the outside and the Jets must be able to take advantage of them.
If the Jets see New England is leaving Kyle Arrington in single coverage against Edwards or Holmes, Sanchez can't hesitate to attack down the field, especially with a double move off the slant route the Jets throw so frequently.
In the end, Sanchez needs to protect the football and put together a signature game in his young career for the Jets to win. He can't miss opportunities down the field and can't throw interceptions. If Mark Sanchez wants to be a big time quarterback and a big time athlete in this city, he needs to beat Tom Brady when it really counts.