The Patriots are inevitable. Much like death, taxes, Thanos, and regretting getting that extra quesadilla at Taco Bell, the Patriots are just something you have to deal with in life (I’ve never personally had to deal with Thanos, but we Stan the MCU and if Tony Stark had to deal with him damnit so do we). At 1-4, the Jets face a wounded Pats team, and are hoping to build off their impressive win over Dallas in week 6. But there’s a reason why the Pats are 10 point favorites. Bill Belichick is the best game planner in the history of the sport, and Tom Brady can rack up 250 yards, 2 TD’s, and complete 67% of his passes with a gaggle of 5th Avenue homeless people as his WR corps. So, how do you beat the machine that just keeps going, and going, and going…
The first and last bullet point when it comes to the Jets. Sam Darnold will be the best quarterback the Pats vaunted D has faced so far this season. It’s not their fault, and Darnold showed what he’s capable of last week. Now, he must play nearly flawless football, under the lights, against the greatest dynasty in football history. It’s silly to say this, because…well, Tom…but Sam Darnold has to be the best quarterback on the field, and it’s up to Gase to make sure he can do that and put him in positions to succeed.
The Pats are so, so good at taking away a teams greatest strength. Expect them to overload the Jets’ front with multiple stunts and to lock in on Le’Veon Bell. The Cowboys tried to shut down Bell and let Darnold beat them, and he was happy to do so. If the Pats are keying in on Bell early, it’s a sign they think they can rush Darnold with 4-5 man fronts and force him into making mistakes. Sam is good, possibly great, and maybe GREAT – and he will need to be against this Pats defense that is absolutely feasting on turnovers. They will try to make him overthink and bait him into some really bad throws. They simply cannot have a miscommunication like last week where Darnold threw a red zone INT on a disconnect from Jamison Crowder.
I understand this isn’t Luke Falk (thank goodness), but the Patriots have made better QBs than Sam look Falk-ish. Sam must be dealing and dealing early.
Play Smart Football
Plain and simple, to beat New England, you have to beat them because they will simply not beat themselves. They don’t make silly mistakes often, and when you do you absolutely must capitalize on them. You cannot settle for threes. Field goals do not win football games against elite competition. You can’t give away free yards and first downs with stupid penalties. To beat New England, you have to execute a gameplan to perfection.
Part of this is viewing it as just another football game. Yes it’s the Pats and yes, it’s Monday Night. But if you put this game on a pedestal, you play overly emotional, and mistakes are made. The Jets will be playing (hopefully) with a ton of fire, led by Jamal Adams and CJ Mosley, but they must keep their heads.
Knowing the Patriots, they will run constant stunts and send pressure where you least expect it. The OL cannot get fooled and they cannot make crucial holding penalties that take a 3rd and 3 to a 3rd and 13. Every yard is crucial and every penalty has the potential to be a mini-dagger. Playing this team isn’t taking uppercut after uppercut. It’s death by a thousand paper cuts. They know exactly when to go for the knockout. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. This applies to every game, but this one more than most due to the nature of the opponent.
Step On Their Throats
If you have the chance, of course. If the Jets were to get out to a lead, they must kill the game off. They blew a lead Week 1 at home to Buffalo, and they nearly blew last weeks win to Dallas. Put your foot on the gas and don’t stop pressing until the clock is at 0:00. Pedal to the metal, this is damn #PatsWeek.
Have Some Fun
Open up the playbook. Go out there and ball. But you’re 1-4. You have almost nothing to lose. Just go out there and do the job, but if the Jets approach this with a rigid mentality and show no flexibility, they will lose and humiliate themselves. If Luke Falk can cover on the road in Foxborough, Sam Darnold can go out there and get a franchise-altering win. But at the end of the day, one game is one game.
He’s been as good as advertised. Gregg can scheme with the best of them, and he’s going to have his hands full again. Due to the lack of a pass rush, he’s going to send heat Brady’s way. Tom is the best in history at getting the ball out before the defense can touch him. Get his jersey dirty. Put a helmet in his gut. For the love of God please cover the crossing routes. Playing the Pats is so frustrating, especially when you see how easily they pick up 5-7 yards at a time. They run you out of gas. Brady has to face third and longs, you cannot allow him to pick you apart on third and 3 or second and 4. This has to be a huge game from Leo/Quinnen Williams. We know Leo isn’t that good, but Quinnen was a monster last week, and if he can earn some double teams, he’s going to cause a whole lot of issues for this Josh McDaniels offense.
And that’s it! You might be telling yourself, “Oh, that’s ALL you have to do to beat the Pats? That sounds easy!” Buddy, it’s not. Let’s check in tomorrow and see how it goes, but it’s a tough task before the schedule finally softens and the Jets start facing teams they can actually say they might be better than.
Jet up. See you at MetLife.