...or the continuing thoughts of a man who woke up at 5:30 this morning and has nothing better to do... 1. There are a lot of reasons to be optimisitic about this season, however as for THIS particular game, my optimism has had to be tempered. If the Jets are ever to beat the Pats this year, this game has got to be IT. Let me count the ways a. Its the Jets home opener b. Seymour is out c. Harrison is out d. our DL depth is further weakened with Wright being out e. Samuel, even if he plays, will be limited in how well and how long he can perform. Like I have said in previous posts, Asante is will not fully earn his check this week. f. Moss has missed a month of practise and won't be fully in tune with his QB g. The Pats are notorious slow starters h. Brady's eventful preseason might have effected his focus, as well as the fact his perrenial "arm problems" might actually have some validity this season. i. Because its the opener, Mangini has had a lot of time to prepare. He has proven in the past if he has extra time, he and his staff will come up with some interesting and challenging schemes to overcome. Have I left anything out? So if you are a Jet fan, this game would look like the Jets best chance to steal a win from the Pats 2. I am a little surprise that we cut Torrey James. That will leave us thin at the CB spot, with only Hobbs/Gay/and Samuel true CBs This is particularly troubling since since we have no idea how long or well Samuel can play. I know this is mitigated somewhat by the fact Merriweather, Wilson, and Andrews all have had SOME experience playing CB, however Wilson didn't play CB at all this camp, and I'm a believer that Merriweather is best utilized if for the rest of this year he concentrates on being a safety. Its a steep learning curve for ANY rookie coming into the league. Its even steeper trying to learn the Pats complex and arcane schemes. Cutting James and Wesley also eliminated the only 2 "big" CBs on the roster. Gay, Hobbs, and Samuel, are all 3 great cover guys, but they are also positively TINY. Am I the only guy who has noticed that the 6'+ WR is NO LONGER the exception in the NFL....he's the norm. So when you keep trotting out CBs who barely get to 5'10 you are at a distinct advantage, especially in the red zone. Don't think that opposing OC's won't try and take advantage of this. All this and Matt Guttierez and Cory Mays are both on the roster. How do you figure? But then again, BB recently has lost my number and no longer calls to ask MY opinion on roster matters, though I still get emails, asking about the way I got my defensive backfield to rotate to reverse motion against Quincy in 80' 3. Gearing up for the game on Sunday I was thinking about the relative positions of the Jets and Pats and the differences between the two teams, and why I think the Pats will prevail over the long haul of the NFL Season. Its not that complex, nor is it the kind of unique and insightful nugget that I wish I could claim. In a word its DEPTH. Think about it. Right now the Pats are favored even though its a division away game. Even a good many Jets fans think that, while the Jets will be competitive, they will ultimately lose, even though the Pats are missing a perennial all pro DE, and their leader in the secondary. THAT's the differnce between the 2 teams. Concider for a minute how the Jets would look if Rhodes and Ellis were not playing this Sunday. Are there serious Jet fans who wouldn't think that those would be CRIPPLING injuries to ovecome. Would you seriously have confidence in their replacements (whoever thye would be...do you know?) There would be no way that the Jets could compete under that scenerio. Certainly the Pats will not be as good as they COULD be because Seymour and Harrison won't be on the field, however their defense as a whole will still be positive factor because the Players that will replace them are both proven to be effective starters in the NFL (Sanders & Green). Most teams just don't have that luxury.