The following is a piece I've just posted up on Jetsinsider.com: I asked a couple of posters here to answer some questions for me, and one of them asked me to post the same thread up here as I did on Jetsinsider. I was waiting for one more set of replies from THE_ARCHIVES, but he hasn't got back to me. Here is the thread: The second week of Recon. Jet sees the Jets match up against uber-successful divisional rival, the New England Patriots. Eric Mangini will be looking to outwit his old boss in Bill Belichick, and the Jets will be looking to settle old scores over a foe that has dominated them in recent times. The Club The New England Patriots were, almost from their inception in 1959, a laughing stock of a franchise: up until 2001 they had made but one trip to the Super Bowl, in 1985 where they had been trounced by the Bears. However their victory in 2001 at Super Bowl XXXVI announced the greatest period in the club's history: they followed up with victories in the Super Bowl in 2003 and 2004. This unprecedented run of success has almost no parallel in modern football; salary caps and the draft make it almost impossible to stay on top for any sustained length of time. The question is, are the Patriots about to go into decline after their long period at the top? Perhaps the Jets can provide an answer to that question this Sunday.... Betting (from Sportstab) NY Jets: 3.25 NE Patriots 1.30 (this means that for every $1 outlayed, if you bet on the Jets and they win, you'll get back $3.25, and if you bet $1 on the Patriots you'll get back $1.30 NY Jets Touchdown 3.50 NY Jets Field Goal 4.50 NY Jets Safety 101.00 New England Touchdown 2.25 New England Field Goal 4.50 New England Safety This week our fans in the spotlight come from Patsfans.com; I questioned to Box_O_Rocks, PatsSteve1 and Patsfan13. 1.The Patriots gave an un-Patriot like performance last week against the Bills: are the Bills that good, or are the Patriots slipping, or is this just a case of ring rust by the Pats? Box_O_Rocks: The only way to correct ring rust is fight through the season and obtain a new ring. Buffalo added 21 new players and built for team speed: They are very good on defense and will only get better as the season progresses (barring injuries). Their defensive speed required a larger adjustment for the offense than had apparently been anticipated - half time got things working a bit better. Our defense was over pursuing initially, they eventually settled down and remembered to use proper technique - Buffalo had a decent drive to start the second half, but the 4th and inches stop took the wind from their sails. "UnPatriot like" is 180 degrees out from that performance, it was very Patriot-like, heart stopping, surprising, resilient. PatsSteve1: It was really a tale of 2 halfs at the LOS. The Bills pushed the Patriots around in the 1st half and it was the other way around in the 2nd half. patsfan13: 3 things stuck out to me: 1)The Bills are better than advertized. 2)Brady had a poor game his accuracy wasn't very good. 3)The Bills had 21 new players and a new staff/system, not much film to go on. The Pats were on their heels in the first half, but played better after they made adjustments to what the Bills were doing in the 2nd half. 2.You've had a sensational run in the last few years: if you could pick one person, be it a coach, owner, or player, who would you say has been most responsible for that success and why? Box_O_Rocks: Bob Kraft, he rebuilt the organization from the ground up. PatsSteve1:I can't. It would be a shared between responsibilty Belichick and Brady patsfan13: The owner. Kraft put the staff in place and let them run the show. I think he learned from the problems he had with Parcells. We had lousy ownership for 30 years until Kraft bought the team. 3. Laurence Maroney looks to be another draft winner for the Pats: what is the secret to success in the draft, excellent talent spotting or do you have to have some plain dumb luck as well? Box_O_Rocks: The relationship between Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli, they have a shared understanding of what they want in a player, and how he must fit into the program. They have also clearly communicated their requirements to the scouting staff. PatsSteve1:The former on the 1st day and I'd add in some of the latter on the 2nd day. patsfan13: You have to be both smart and have some luck. The Pats look for guys who will fit the system physically, who are smart (they have the highest % of college grads on the roster the past few years), and to whom football is an important part of their lives. IMO the emphasis on 'character guys' increases their chances of getting productive players. Luck helps too, if it weren't for the late Dick Rehban we would have missed out on Brady, getting his in the sixth round was luck even thoiugh he fit the creteria for a Pats player. I seriously doubt we have any SB's in this run without Brady. 4. Is there any particular game against the Jets that sticks in your mind as a favourite one for you as a Pats fan? Box_O_Rocks: Always the next one, refighting past battles does not appeal. PatsSteve1:I went to a Jets/Patriots game in about 1992 in Foxboro at the old dump. It was in a downpour and the Jets won 6-3. I've never been that wet with clothes on. You could barely see the other side of the stadium. patsfan13: There was a game played in the remanants of a hurricane in 1971 (IIRC), rained 3-4 inches during the game, the stands at Schaefer stadium were floded we were standing in inches of water. I was a 18 and got drenched and loved it. The Pats won, which didn't happen too much those days. 5. There has been some talk this week that the Pats are seeking tampering charges against the Jets over Deion Branch: is Bill Belichick just playing mind games ahead of the Jets game, or is there something more to it? Box_O_Rocks: Reportedly, telling the Branch camp what the Jets where willing to trade for his services is tampering. PatsSteve1:I don't know what's up with that. Frankly, I think they should just let it go. Patsfan13 BB and minds games, surely you Jests ! I don't know what the basis of the charge is. My guess is that BB wasn't happy that Mangini made a run at DB, and is messing with him. 6. What game plan will the Pats adopt, both offensively and defensively, against the Jets? Where will the game be won and lost? What will be the final score? Box_O_Rocks: The offense will use the run game to wear down your defense while resting ours. The defense will try and force your offense to beat us with the passing game. Special Teams will attempt to control field position. PatsSteve1:The Patriots are going to run the ball 1st and pass off that. They got 180+ yards against the Bills who almost ignored the WR'S because the ones they had for that game aren't very good excpet Troy Brown but he's gotten old. On D I expect the Patriots to play the pass mostly, maybe with the nickel a lot althouth new DC Dan Pea's is more aggresive with the blitz than Mangini was as DC last year. I always expect games to be won in the trenches. And I think the Patriots have the edge there. Low scoring maybe only in the teens. patsfan13: On O expect to see a lot of 2TE sets as the base O, last week Dillon, Maroney, and Faulk combined for 180 yds on 36 att. So stopping the run will be a key for the Jets. The passing game will be interesting. Brady spreads the ball around, will the Pats get production from the Wr's this week? Will Gabriel & Jackson play this week? If we can get 8-9 receiptions from our WR, the O will be very successful. I expect Brady to have a very good game. Usually after a bad game he plays very well.The D had a good game last week especially in the 2nd half. I would have thought they would have jammed the LOS, but Pennington look better than I had expected, with better arm strength than I've seen since before the shoulder injuries. Usually BB wants to take away the run, given the youth of the Jets OL and no CM, perhaps they will attack Pennington. Clearly BB and EM know each other very well, it will be interesting to see how they manage the game.As in most NFL games turnovers will be the key. I expect the Pats to win, guess 27-16 for the score.