By: Russ Goldman
I had the pleasure before the last game between the Patriots and the Jets to have Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential give me some insight on the Jets.
Dan was nice enough to take some time to answer my questions once again.
Here are my “Five Questions About The Upcoming Jets Game with Dan Leberfeld of Jets Confidential”.
1. The Jets ran the ball very effectively against the Colts in their victory. Conventional wisdom would be that they would run the ball heavily against the Patriots. Do you see running the ball for the Jets to be their offensive strategy or do you see a different offensive game-plan?
If the Jets are going to have any chance to win this game, they have to run the football. They have one of the best offensive lines in the league, and New England is ravaged on the defensive line. The Jets need to take advantage of this for two reasons. One, to take pressure off Mark Sanchez, who is a good, not great quarterback. Secondly, they need to keep Brady off the field.
2. The weather seemed to bother Mark Sanchez the last time the teams played at Foxboro. It is expected again to be fairly cold. Do you think the weather will be a factor in the performance of Mark Sanchez on Sunday?
Sanchez has improved in cold weather since that debacle. He played well in bad, cold weather in Pittsburgh and Chicago. Sanchez’s problems is completion percentage, and it’s been an issue in domes and bad weather. 54 percent is not going to cut it in the NFL.
3. In the second match-up between the teams, Jim Leonhard got hurt days before the game and possibly affected negatively the Jets defense. This week Damien Woody was put on injured reserve and Drew Coleman reportedly might have injured himself in the Thursday practice. Will either of these injuries really affect the Jets on Sunday?
It was reported by Bob Glauber, who is close with Coleman’s agent, that the cornerback is going to play. I don’t think Coleman is very good, but the Jets keep running him out there at the nickel spot. Brady will go after him. Remember, Wes Welker’s 15 catch game, a lot of that was against Coleman. As for Woody, his backup, Wayne Hunter, is a starting quality player, so there isn’t a big dropoff.
4. The Jets defense struggled against the Patriots offense in the game in Foxboro. What kind of adjustments do you see this unit making in containing Brady in this game?
I think they are going to play a lot of “coverage.” It worked well against Peyton Manning. The Jets don’t have a great pass rush, so they might as well drop seven into coverage and take their chances that way. I would be shocked if this game is anything like the last one. Rex Ryan might have a big mouth, but he’s also a great defensive coach, almost as good as Belichick. His plan will be a lot better this time.
5. What is your key matchup for the game?
The key match-up with the Jets offensive line vs. the Pats decimated defensive line. If the Jets can take advantage of this, they can win the game. If they can’t, they are in a lot of trouble.
A special thanks to Dan for giving his time to give his thoughts on this playoff match-up. You can also follow him on twitter at jetswhispers. Dan can also be heard on “Press Coverage” Saturday Mornings from 11 AM – 2PM EST on Sirius NFL Radio.