|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The last time the Patriots were scheduled to play the Jets, we heard the same propaganda from the media and the fans. Pats will roll. The Jets stink. Mark Sanchez is not a big-time quarterback. All of this may be true. But, I wasn’t being a contrarian when I predicted a Jets victory, and I was a dropped pass and a faulty clock from being right. My reasoning was simple: the Patriots defense was playing SO hideously coming off a loss in Seattle that I though Rex Ryan, who game plans pretty well against Tom Brady might be able to pull something off. After that performance I expected the “Patriots will blow doors predictions” would die down for the rest of the season.
The talking heads in the media seemed to have developed short memories. After crushing the Rams, the Patriots nearly lost to Buffalo at home. The media crushes them for a week. The Patriots have a convincing win against Indy and its right back to the “Patriots are going to destroy the Jets” mantra. I want to ask Gerry Callahan and Michael Felger, “How can you criticize the Patriots for four hours after the Jets and Buffalo games and then pick them to roll this week?” The same question goes out Scott Zolak, Andy Gresh, and Gary Tanguay. Fans are supposed to be cocky, but when did the media meld with the fans? Is Greg Bedard the only balanced football mind in this town?
I really would love to see the Patriots put a smackdown on the Jets this Thanksgiving. Rob Gronkowski or not, the Patriots are a much better team and I thought the defense looked like it might be turning a corner. This is the NFL and it is tough to win divisional games on the road, just ask Houston.
Mark Sanchez, in his career against the Patriots, is 3-5. That includes a playoff win against a 14-2 Patriot team in New England and this year’s overtime loss. I expect a close game this week and a Jets victory should not shock anyone. The Jets are at home, and HAVE to win this game to have any hope of the playoffs. The desperate team is usually the most dangerous in the NFL. The Patriots are without their best Red Zone weapon and Jets killer Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady has struggled in more than a few match-ups with Rex going back to Ryan’s days as a Ravens defensive coordinator.
Finally, it’s a short week and the Patriots are beat up. Chandler Jones and Logan Mankins are most likely not going to play this week either. The Jets remind me of the Tampa Bay Rays — they don’t have the offense to be a real contender but their defense/pitching keeps them in every game.
If the Patriots come out and play the same aggressive style against the Jets that they did against the Colts I expect a win. However, if Belichick and Patricia go back to the Buffalo defensive game plan which dialed up very little defensive pressure, then I expect Sanchez to play well.
Last year, the Patriots crushed the Jets in the Meadowlands because they had one of their best defensive outputs of the year. They sacked Sanchez five times; four from right end Andre Carter. Rob Ninkovich, another Jet killer, also had a pick six.
A Patriot win buries the Jets and locks up the AFC East. A loss gives the Jets life and probably guarantees the Patriots are playing Wild Card Weekend. We don’t need a rehash of the 2009 season, when the Jets came back from 4-6 (thanks to Jim Caldwell) to reach the AFC Championship and gave Michael Felger ammo for three more years.
So be objective Patriots fans. Giving the other team a chance doesn’t mean you hate the Patriots. This week should be a real challenge. You don’t have to believe me, just believe the stats.
New England at New York Jets. Tom Brady’s second game back from ACL surgery.
Final Score: Jets win 16-9
Mark Sanchez – 14-22, 163 yds, 101.1 QB rating, 64% completion %, 1 TD, no INTs, sacked twice
Tom Brady – 23-47, 216 yds, 53.1 QB rating, 49% completion %, 0 TD, 1 INT, not sacked
New York Jets at New England.
Final Score: Patriots win 31-14
Mark Sanchez – 8-21, 136 yds, 37.1 QB rating, 38% completion %, 1 TD, 4 INTs, sacked twice
Tom Brady – 28-41, 310 yds, 98.6 QB rating, 68% completion %, 1 TD, 0 INT, sacked twice
New England at New York Jets.
Final Score: Jets win 28-14
Mark Sanchez – 21-30, 220 yds, 124.3 QB rating, 70% completion %, 3 TD, no INTs, sacked three times
Tom Brady – 20-36, 248 yds, 72.5 QB rating, 56% completion %, 2 TD, 2 INT, one sack
New York Jets at New England
Final Score: Patriots win 45-3
Mark Sanchez – 17-33, 164 yds, 27.8 QB rating, 52% completion %, 0 TD, 3 INTs, sacked once
Tom Brady – 21-29, 326 yds, 148.9 QB rating, 72% completion %, 4 TD, 0 INT, sacked three times
New York Jets at New England – Divisional Playoff, Patriots #1 seed and 14-2 on the season
Final Score: Jets win 28-21
Mark Sanchez – 16-25, 194 yds, 127.3 QB rating, 64% completion %, 3 TD, 0 INTs, not sacked
Tom Brady – 29-45, 299 yds, 89.0 QB rating, 64% completion %, 2 TD, 1 INT, sacked FIVE times
New York Jets at New England
Final Score: Patriots win 30-21
Mark Sanchez – 16-26, 166 yds, 105.6 QB rating, 62% completion %, 2 TD, 0 INTs, sacked twice
Tom Brady – 24-33, 321 yds, 100.7 QB rating, 73% completion %, 1 TD, 1 INT, sacked four times
New England at New York Jets
Final Score: Patriots 37-16
Mark Sanchez – 20-39, 306 yds, 64.7 QB rating, 51% completion %, 1 TD, 2 INTs, sacked FIVE times
Tom Brady – 26-39, 329 yds, 118.4 QB rating, 67% completion %, 3 TD, 0 INT, not sacked
New York Jets at New England
Final Score: Patriots win 29-26 (OT)
Mark Sanchez – 28-41, 328 yds, 90.3 QB rating, 68% completion %, 1 TD, 1 INTs, sacked four times
Tom Brady – 26-42, 259 yds, 95.2 QB rating, 62% completion %, 2 TD, 0 INT, sacked once
In the 8 match-ups, Sanchez has thrown for under 200 yards 5 times and won 3 of those games.
Sanchez, overall, has 12 TDs and 10 INTs career against the Pats. Sanchez has had a QB rating over 100.0 four times, and he’s 3-1 in those games.
Tom Brady has 15 TDs and 5 INTs against the Jets under Rex Ryan. Brady has had a QB rating under 100.0 five times, and he is 2-3 in those games. Brady has thrown for under 300 yards four times in the matchups, and he’s 1-3 in those games — the only win came in this year’s overtime victory.