Another great story line....or LINES - The immovable object meets the irresistible force. What could be better. So what better way to start this thread with how to attack the "immovable object" 1. We know from game one that even without Jenkins the Jets shut down completely a better running game than we have here. 2. We also know that while the Jets D is a good one under any conditions, when they play at home that advantage is increased even more than usual for a home team. The reason is the style of D the Jets play. They do a great job of overloading and disguising their many blitzes. And the key elements of defeating that kind of D are recognition and communication. Now this is the 3rd game the Pats have played against this Jets D, and I'm pretty confident that the Pats OL and QB will do a very good job of recognizing the point of attack...at least most of the time. HOWEVER when the Jets play at home, the noise level makes communication MUCH MUCH more difficult. For example, the Pats are likely to go to silent counts. That means they have to look in to see when the ball is snapped just like a DLman. Because of that, they lose the critical edge they have in getting to move first. That microsecond delay makes a difficult job, even more difficult. Then there is the issue of communications - At Gillette when the Pats set a man in motion and the Defense has to declare itself by its coverage, Brady can yell out calls that let everyone know what he's seen and adjust accordingly. The end result is everyone is one the same page and the offense moves as one. However in NJ, any calls Brady might make would fall on deaf ears in the din. Other methods have to be used. Most likely are hand signals basically passed from one player to another. That's fine except, as we all know, when you pass info from one person to another down a line, very often the last person gets a different message. Well maybe its not as dramatic as that, but the point is, playing in NJ makes the likelihood of communications errors grow dramatically. AND the entire concept of the Jet defensive style depends on taking advantage of errors like this. So While I would think this would be a double digit win at home. This is going to be a grind it out close game in NJ 3. So OK what do we do about it. Well the first thing that came to mind is the old Steeler strategy. Back in 2002-4 the Steelers were the team no one could run against. What did the Pats do? Simple, they refused to bang their head against the wall and spread them out went empty backfield and didn't run. A solution so simple it was genius. This negated the steelers biggest strength simply by formation and play selection and the Pats owned the Steelers during that era. Now its not that simple to do that vs the Jets. Teams have had years to work on that offense and more and more you see teams pressure the QB and jump on the Pats short routes and do a much better job. They aren't always effective, but more now than then. 4. Here's an idea - Have the Pats go 2 TEs empty backfield, and 3 WRs/TEs/RBs. here's the rationale: a. By having 7 men across the LOS you make it more difficult to rush from the outside, simply because they have to go a longer distance. So if they rush more than you can block, the open guy has to run farther and the QB gains another second. b. Uncovered TEs make great dump off receivers. And if they are uncovered they can attack the middle of the field faster than the D can get to the passer. That means most of the time the Jets will HAVE to cover and account for the TEs and thus have fewer rushers to apply pressure, and even if they do try and cover the TEs with LBs, the Pats win a lot of those individual match ups c. The 2 outside receivers spread the field and are now off the LOS which gives them more room for release, and thus in some way negate the Jets press coverage techniques d. The 3rd "slot" receiver gives the formation extreme flexibility depending on who is playing the position. You could put a Kevin Faulk in the position and motion him into the QB as a running threat as well as run screens and other patterns. You could have Hernandez there to create a match up problem if that receiver is covered by a smaller Wilson or Leonard. You put Tate on the outside and use Welker in the slot as we have seen for the last 3 years. Lots of options e. The formation is balanced, which makes it harder to defend. The 7 men on the LOS make it hard to rush the passer. The 2 wide outs spread the field. All together a tough assignment for a DC. Stronger vs the Pass rush. Flexible enough to attack man to man coverage. Bottom line - I'd love to see it 4. Regardless of what formations the Pats use this game, I think we all agree that a good part of the Pats strategy will be to create match up advantages with our TEs. Hernandez is too big for their DBs and too Fast for their LBs. Alge won't run away from anyone, but is still a professional receiver who knows how to get position to catch the ball. Getting a Gronk/Leonard match up should be major a goal, because it would just be unfair. Any of our TEs on Leonard is unfair, but if they could get Gronk on Leonard consistently, it would be so unfair that the NFL would have to call in a rules change. . 5. This is a game I REALLY want to win the toss and defer. Just as I assume if the Jets win the toss THEY will want to KO. The crowd will be at its most emotional and loudest to open the game. I know it would be great to just march down the field and shut them up, but that would be a tall order. I'd much rather get the extra possession in the 2nd half after you have had a half to see what the Jets are doing on D, and the Crown noise is down by a few decibels 6. Finally on offense, we cannot turn the ball over more than the Jets. If they have a 3-1 TO advantage as they did on Monday, they can win this game. 7. Now to the Jets offense. I know it would be real easy for a Pats fan to be smug about the Jets offense after last Monday. That would be a mistake. There is no way that the Jets are going to be as bad as that historic offensive disaster. They aren't THAT bad, and at this stage of the game, the Pats defense (especially the front 7) isn't as good as the Ravens front 7. So don't be shocked to see the Jets move the ball some and score some points 8 Common wisdom would dictate the Pats start their defensive strategy by putting 8 men in the box, shut down the running game and force Sanchez to beat you. Based on last game, how could you come to any other conclusion. Obviously the Jets know this as well. Their coaches also get paid a lot of money too, so NO ONE should be shocked to see,Sanchez going deep down the sidelines to Edwards or trying to hit Keller up the deep middle a couple of times in the first quarter. However I'm pretty sure the main thrust of the Jets passing attack with be to hit Cotchery over the middle 12-14 yds deep and their RBs (especially LT) out of the backfield.....and of course RUN THE BALL. They are obviously going to let Sanchez throw the ball down the field more this game, but they STILL don't want to see him over 30 attempts, so the Pats will definitely see the run 9. While the Jet OL looked more vulnerable to the Pass rush than last year, and there is a lot of talk about the weakness of Slauson and the deterioration of Woody. All of this is true, HOWEVER the Pats don't have anyone like T Suggs, or a DE as good as HNgata. So the rush will have to be created by scheme more than individual battles. I would be happy to see the Pats DL stay aggressive and attack the LOS more then we have seen with the standard 2 gap. I want the DBs to play more man to man or 5 under tight zones than we usually see. And finally I want to see more of that good tackling that limit even the good plays and force the offence to line up and perform. Make the Jets EARN ever yard, every first down, every score. I don't think the Jet offense is good enough to sustain more than two 10+ play scoring drives, without self destructing, and 14 points isn't going to win this game, so limiting the "big play" (25+yds) is critical...to both teams 10. Don't fall asleep on the special teams battle - The Pats return game wasn't a one game fluke, they have had several long punt and KO returns throughout the preseason. It is now a serious threat. However the Jet coverage teams were also excellent in the first game. We all know in a close game, special teams is where games are won or lost. We shouldn't ignore it amid the other more dramatic but less important to the game story lines 11. As a Pats fan, here is my biggest concern for this game. Historically it hasn't been wise to bet against the team that is viewed the most "desperate". It's even less wise to bet against a HOME team who is the most "desperate", AND even though its early in the season, and the Pats have had 3 superbowl teams that started 0-2 or 1-3, make no mistake about it, the Jets are a "desperate" team. They wouldn't just be 0-2 but they'd be 0-2 with 2 home losses, 2 conference losses, and heading down to Miami.....OUCH. That makes this a MUST win, and while I can see a lot of positive aspects to this game and fully expect the Pats to win.....I can't get this old football adage out of my head and it worries me. 12. Well now its on to Sunday and the melodrama that will play out on the field. And its going exciting and interesting story to see. Let me know what you think, because that's all I got between now an 1pm Sunday.