The New York Jets will look to improve their record to 5-6, inching their way closer to a .500 record tomorrow against the 7-3 New England Patriots. To do so, will take a lot of effort, and a little bit of luck. Here are my 5 quick points/observations for tomorrows Thanksgiving shoot out.
1.) Secondary Needs to Show Up
- When playing well, despite the loss of All-Pro Darrelle Revis, the Jets secondary is among the best in the NFL – if they play well. I must say that I think one of the most inconsistent aspects of the NY Jets team as a whole has been their secondary. Kyle Wilson is who I will be watching out for in this game. Antonio Cromartie has proven that he can “up” his game when he needs to, and now Wilson needs to show this. More consistant play from safeties LaRon Landry and Yermiah Bell should help the defense make big plays, and stop Tom Brady.
2.) Linebackers MUST hold Aaron Hernandez to under a 7 reception game
- Rob Gronkowski being out for this game is an absolute gift for the NY Jet defense, especially for the linebackers. An older, slower, yet experienced defense could use a break from Gronk, but they need to capitalize on this opportunity, it is an absolute MUST. With Gronk out, and Hernandez not 100% healthy, the Jet ‘backers should have a good game, and they need to if the defense is going to be successful tomorrow night.
3.) Need to Establish the Run Game
- Shonn Greene is still trying to establish an identity for himself as an elite running back in the NFL, and what better way to do so then a prime-time national game on Thanksgiving night. Coming off an above average rushing performance against the St. Louis Rams, look for Greene and the offensive line to put up some big numbers against the New England defense.
4.) Special Teams must be more consistent, and better
- I would not be surprised if it is Mike Westoff’s time to go after this season is over. Decorated as one of the best special team-minded coaches of the league, Westoff and his squad have had a dismal season at best this year. Special teams cannot have ANY mistakes tomorrow if they want to have a chance at beating the New England Patriots. A blocked punt or field goal is a gift for Tom Brady, and if you give Brady extra chances with good yardage, you might as well just quit right then and there.
5.) Mark Sanchez needs to take care of the ball
- A 16-22, 178 yard game is what Sanchez and the Jets should be aiming for as a stat line for their franchise quarterback. Don’t have him overthrow, but let him loose a few times against that suspect Patriot secondary. Sanchez cannot turn the ball over, and he cannot make any mistakes. He needs to be sharp, and he cannot have any miscues with his receivers.
The Jets need to have a perfect game in order to beat the Patriots and make a statement. They key for them this game will be limiting their mistakes. If they do so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets walk out one step closer to a .500 record. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.