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Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has the unenviable task of trying to beat the New England Patriots in Foxboro this weekend. I use the word unenviable because I believe this match-up has all the makings of becoming a repeat of the 59-0 beat-down the Patriots laid on the Tennessee Titans in Week 6. The Jets are a team heading in the wrong direction. They come to Foxboro having lost five of their last six games, and will be handicapped on offense and defense without injured running back Leon Washington and defensive tackle Kris Jenkins.
The Patriots blowout victory over the Titans came the week after they suffered a crushing 20-17 OT defeat to former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ Denver Broncos. The following week, Brady hooked up with Randy Moss eight times for 129 yards and three touchdowns against Tennessee.
Tom Brady and company lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Peyton Manning-led Colts on Sunday night. The events which have set the stage for this Sunday’s game have given me reason to expect Mark Sanchez and the rest of the New York Jets to be in for a long afternoon facing off an extremely ticked-off Patriots team.
Here are five reasons I would not want to be Jet’s quarterback Mark Sanchez this Sunday:
Even if they won’t admit it, the Patriot’s defense is more than upset with Bill Belichick’s decision to go for the first down on 4th and 2 from their own 28-yard line with 2:08 to go against the Colts on Sunday night. They are going to play with an enormous chip on their shoulder this Sunday, and Mark Sanchez could bear the brunt of their frustration. Look for linebacker Jerod Mayo, and the two safeties Brandon McGowan and Brandon Meriweather to shut down the Jets running game and force Sanchez to put the offense on his back.
If the Patriots had decided to punt the ball on 4th down and beaten the Colts, the upcoming game against the Jets would have had “trap” written all over it. With a game against the New Orleans Saints looming, it would have been easy to overlook the Jets had the Patriots pulled out a win last Sunday. But with their loss to the Colts, and a Miami victory on Thursday, the Patriots realize this is a must-win game.
Belichick is 5-2 lifetime against rookie quarterbacks. His two losses have come against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger who went 15-1 his rookie season, and Mark Sanchez in Week 2 of this season. Let’s take a trip back to 2004. Bill Belichick and the Patriots roll into Pittsburgh in late January for the AFC Championship Game. Earlier in the season Roethlisberger and the Steelers had beaten the Patriots 34-20 at Heinz Field. On their return trip, the Patriots defense intercepts Big Ben three times en route to a 41-27 victory.
Sanchez has more than the Patriots defense to worry about. He has to outscore a Patriots offense clicking on all cylinders. Tom Brady and Randy Moss have connected 58 times for 891 yards and seven touchdowns this season. In the last two games combined Brady has hit moss for 326 yards and three touchdowns. This offense has scored at least 35 points in three of its last four games, and it’s facing a Jets team without Justin Leonhard and Vernon Ghoulston.
Ok they do, but not often. The Patriots haven’t lost back-to-back games under Belichick since 2006. It’s a remarkable statistic, and one that does not bode well for Mr. Sanchez.