NEW YORK JETS ~ The Jets' Flight Has Been More Like a Magic Carpet Ride. Now It's Time To See What REX's Big Green Bomber Can Do!
Herm Edwards couldn't do it. He coached not to lose. Eric Mangini couldn't do it although he had his moments against his former mentor. Chad Pennington couldn't do it and neither could Brett Fvb%vrsbra. "IT" - would be smacking the smugness right out of Coach Belichick's and his New England Patriots' mouths, and the smirks right off their faces.
Little dings and dents the Jets inflicted in the Patriots' armor along the way, hardly a reputation make; namely Week Two and any day in the sun Mangini might have had. The success and lack-of, between the two organizations speaks for itself.
Coach Ryan certainly is big enough to talk as tough as he wants. He has ushered in the Era of D-Generation REX. He conjures up a real intimidating game image and inspires a rambunctious team mentality. Can Coach Rex get his team to follow through on all the hype he rains down on them and make his words ring true against an old master gamesmen? Coach Rex's attitude certainly is infectious enough. His confidence and belief system permeates this team. The Jets say they are up to the task but take things further. They have no problem tossing around the words "Super Bowl" like jock straps in the hamper.
The Jets will be trying to beat the Patriots for the second time this season. The Jets have actually had their number the last two seasons. But anyone who knows a thing or two about the NFL knows beating Bill Belichick twice in the same season is a daunting task.
The Patriots arrived at their 9-2 record by basically outscoring everybody. They aren't stellar on defense but even then, Bill Belichick defenses don't hurt themselves.
The Jets however, have arrived here via something more resembling a magic carpet ride than a Big Green Fighter-Bomber streaking through the sky. Three late game thrillers featuring two last-minute comebacks and an O.T. win were sandwiched by the 9-0 failed take-off against the Packers and, for a change, a comfortable win versus Cincy. Their opposition played huge parts in putting the Jets into position for heroics during that stretch. But when the Jets were given openings, Mark Sanchez and the Jets came through with flying colors. You can listen to the detractors say the Jets haven't really played anyone good. I hear them too. I'm just ignoring them.
The Jets' Offense is somewhat better than the AFC average. What the Jets have done is maximize their points and kept the other team off the board. What they've done extremely well is mount late comebacks to win games when given an opportunity. But the Jets put themselves in those situations and the variables such as bad coaching decisions by the other side can be taken away. It comes down to execution. When pressed, they perform. When not pressed to do so, they sputter. But it appears obvious Mark Sanchez is off the chain now and he and the Jets are full of big play capability. This offense put up 28 points against the Pats in Game Two and the truth is the Pats' Defense hasn't gotten much better since then. The questions you have to ask are, - Can the Jets afford to be put in a comeback situation again, and against this team? Let's face it, Coach Belichick will not make the same mistakes other coaches have made against the Jets there-by putting them in position to make comebacks. Another question is, will 28 points this time around be enough to outscore the #1 Offense in Football?
Success and failure rest squarely on the shoulders of Mark Sanchez Monday night. That's just the way it is.
Like I said, this Patriot Defensive unit isn't that much improved from the Week Two bunch who gave up 28 points to the Jets. But, this is a Bill Belichick team, and that means the defense will bend, but not break. What that means is the Patriots are committed to outscoring you, but they don't give points away. You still have to earn them. Coach Belichick will also add a new wrinkle for Mark Sanchez to ponder. Count on it.
The results of Week Two mean absolutely nothing to me today. We are talking about something that happened 300 Patriot Points ago. TOM BRADY leads the AFC's top offensive team with 334 points scored. They are second in the NFL behind the Eagles (344). Wes Welker, Randy Moss; No Randy Moss; Cher; ~ It doesn't matter. They just score points. Now they are going with three tight end sets. They make anything work and are 5-0 at home.
The JETS Defensively? First Chris Jenkins is lost early for the season, now, late, Safety JIM LEONHARD has a broken leg and is out for the remainder of the season. He was the guy calling defensive plays out there. This may prove devastating to the Jets. The Jets don't get to the QB unless they blitz. That is now an even bigger problem for the Jets. But this is the third most stingiest Defense in Football with only 187 points allowed after Chris Jenkins got hurt. This defense has held truer to the Bend-Don't-Break model than the Pats have. The Bears (172) have given up the least points in the NFL. Then, the list is AFC dominant. The Steelers are 1st in the AFC with only 181 points allowed; Jets 2nd with 187; and the Ravens 3rd with 188. The Pats? A whopping 266.
There's nothing about this match-up telling me the Jets can't win. But, there's nothing telling me the Patriots can't foil Gang Green's Monday Night Dreams either.
To me this boils down to one thing and one thing only; Can Mark Sanchez make more out his opportunities with the ball than Tom Brady can with his?
Can Mark Sanchez outshine Tom Brady and Sieze the Night?
Only the Final Score will tell.