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Patriots-Jets Week 9 Key Matchups, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
1 year ago at 7:07 am ET
Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Season

Patriots-Jets Week 9 Key Matchups, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots come limping into this game having lost four in a row, and five of their last six. However, the Jets have lost all of their games in 2020 having gone 0-8. So, this isn’t exactly the marquee matchup the league was hoping for. But someone’s losing streak will come to an end on Monday night in the Meadowlands. 

This week’s game will be broadcast by ESPN and can be seen locally on WCVB-TV Channel 5. Steve Levy will handle play-by-play duties with Brian Griese and Louis Riddick as the color analysts. Lisa Salters will work from the sidelines. The game will also be aired on the Patriots flagship radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call, produced by Marc Capello.

The Patriots have beaten the Jets eight times in a row, with season sweeps the past four seasons. Since Bill Belichick has taken over the reins in 2000 (which was the last time the Jets swept the Patriots), New England has owned this matchup going 30-10.

The Patriots (2-5) were beaten by the Buffalo Bills 24-21 as Cam Newton was stripped of the ball around the Bills 10-yard line with time running out in the game. 

The Jets (0-8) were blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs 35-9 as Patrick Mahomes threw for 416 yards and 5 TDs.  

We here at PatsFans.com are continuing our “Razor’s Edge” column in 2020 to give some quick analysis on some of the key matchups of the game and what you can look for in how the game plays out.

So, here is our look at some of the key matchups and who holds the Razor’s Edge.

First up is the Patriots offense:

Patriots RBs vs Jets Front Seven – Razor’s Edge New England

The Patriots running game got going in the second half against the Bills en route to 188 yards on the ground, albeit in a losing effort. But Damien Harris has stepped nicely into the starting running back role, showing very good vision, with the ability to make tacklers miss. He’s physical and hits the holes hard. Harris wracked up 102 yards on just 16 carries last week, the feeling here is he should see more. James White and Rex Burkhead round things out nicely for the Patriots. 

For all of the Jets problems, they’ve done a good job of stopping the run, allowing just 116 yards per game (13th in the NFL). They are stout at the point of attack with Quinnen Williams and Henry Anderson inside. 

Look for a steady dose of Harris, Burkhead, and Cam Newton mixed in. The Patriots had some success with RPOs and designed Newton runs last week, that should continue. It will bear watching to see how well the Jets LBs hold up as they traded Avery Williamson to the Steelers before the trade deadline. 

Patriots WRs vs Jets Secondary – Razor’s Edge New England

The Patriots passing game has been a mess, the Jets pass defense, if possible, has been a bigger mess. They were shredded by the Chiefs for nearly 450 yards last week and Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdown passes (30,36, 3, 26, and 41 yards). 

Newton and Jakobi Meyers have shown a little bit of chemistry. We don’t know if or when N’Keal Harry will return from a concussion. Newton will have Damiere Byrd, Meyers, Gunner Olszewski outside, but this week we may see a lot of White and Burkhead out of the backfield. It will probably be too early to see Isaiah Ford or Donte Moncrief yet, but it will be interesting to see if they can contribute. 

The Jets pass defense has given up big plays all season and has a penchant for taking bad penalties which have followed their DC wherever he goes. White and Burkhead should be key to getting the passing game going a little bit, but enough this week. 

Next up the New York offense:

Jets RBs vs NE Front Seven – Razor’s Edge New York

The Patriots run defense is in bad shape, getting abused by just about everyone they’ve faced and now, their most dependable defensive lineman, Lawrence Guy may be out with an injury. They’ve been getting pushed around and the linebackers aren’t setting the edge. The Patriots are a woeful 27th in the league allowing a whopping 140.4 yards per game on the ground.

The Jets have the ageless Frank Gore and Lamical Perrine along with a scrambling Sam Darnold, this is hardly a stout rushing attack (103.1 yards per game, 22nd in the NFL) but facing this Patriots defense, it will probably be enough. 

I think the Jets if they’re smart (and that is a BIG, BIG IF) would rewatch the tape of the Bills game and see when they were successful and when they were not. If the Jets run on 1st and 2nd down, they have a great shot at controlling the clock, tempo, and winning. 

Jets WRs vs NE Secondary- Razor’s Edge New England

The Patriots secondary is the team’s true strength with Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones at the corner with Devin McCourty, and Adrian Phillips at safety with Jason McCourty, JoeJuan Williams being able to come in and play in sub-packages. 

The Jets WR core is struggling like the Patriots. And they are a banged-up lot. Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman, and Braxton Berrios have all battled injuries with Crowder and Perriman both missing last week’s thrashing at KC. Sam Darnold is completing only 58.6 percent of his passes. 

Look for the Patriots to come after Darnold and try to force him into making some mistakes and some turnovers. They’ve done a good job of this in the past and there is no reason to believe that they can’t do it again. 

Special Teams- Razor’s Edge New England

The Patriots Nick Folk has quietly been having a solid month or so and while his range is still limited, he’s been hitting the ones he’s been asked to. Jake Bailey is outstanding and with the wind last week, he had an off day, but there aren’t any worries with him. Gunner Olszewski returns punts and kicks without much to show for it. 

The Jets should get Sam Ficken back from a groin injury, he’s solid and has Braden Mann handling the punting duties. Berrios is the kick returner and he hasn’t shown much either. The Patriots coverage units tip the scale here with Matthew Slater and Justin Bethel 

Next up, who wins and why…

Prediction:

This is a game that we had as nothing more than a layup for the Patriots when the season started. Not so much anymore. The Patriots are reeling and not just on offense, their run defense has been a sieve. The Jets, however, are reeling just as badly, putting head coach Adam Gase on the hot seat. 

Keys to the game from a Patriots perspective:

Pass to Run – The Patriots hardly have a prolific passing offense, but it could seem that way facing the Jets porous pass defense. Look for running backs James White and Rex Burkhead to get a lot of looks in the passing game. Getting the passing game going on early downs will open up the running game for Damien Harris. 

The Running Game Must Continue to Rely on Newton – The running game with Harris and Burkhead are key to get the Patriots offense in the end zone. But with the Jets having a good run defense, the one player that can flip the script is Newton. 

The offense has to have a number of designed runs, RPOs, running options for Newton again this week. It will keep the Jets defense off-balance a little bit and the secondary will have to keep one eye in the backfield. Just like last week, we say…Let Cam run.

Get After Darnold And Force the Issue – The Patriots pass rush has just 10 sacks this season. That isn’t going to get it done. Hopefully, they’ll have a little more success on early downs and be able to get Chase Winovich back on the field and use rookie Josh Uche to take advantage of his athleticism. 

The combination of a very good secondary and a lackluster Jets wide receiver corps should allow them to pressure the passing game and make some plays and a turnover or two.  

_______

I am looking for Newton to have a nice game on Monday night. I think he’ll actually throw a couple of touchdowns this week and run for another. Look for the defense to get a couple of turnovers.  Patriots 24-13

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on Streamyard as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and breakdown game analysis

 


Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Season
Tags: Bill Belichick Frank Gore Henry Anderson New England Patriots New York Jets Patriots Patriots edge rushers Quinnen Williams Sam Darnold Stephon Gilmore


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