Monday Night Football Marquee Matchup!

Monday Night Football…Tom Brady…New England Patriots….Rex Ryan…the New York Jets.  Yes, these are the ingredients for a big, prime time game. Last week’s MNF game between the Cardinals and 49ers was mind-numbing.  So much so, in fact, that re-runs of Law and Order replaced my usual Monday night football ritual.  But this is a marquee game, full of hype, drama and major playoff implications. 

Both the Jets and Patriots are 9-2 and tied for first place in the AFC East.  They met earlier this season, in Week 2, with the Jets winning 28-14.  The Patriots were leading 14-0 before they collapsed and the Jets turned on their afterburners for a second half comeback. 

Much has changed since that first meeting.  For the Patriots, their trade of Randy Moss and loss of running back Kevin Faulk to injury has forced Tom Brady to spread the ball around to a whole slew of different receivers, tight ends and backs.  The Patriots enter this game leading the NFL in scoring.  Here is our take on some key factors in this rivalry matchup.

The Tom Brady Factor 

He is playing in front of a home crowd where he simply rarely loses.  The last time a Brady-led Patriots team lost at home during the regular season was November 2006.  Coincidentally, it was the Jets who served up that last home defeat.  But since that game, 25 teams have played against Brady in Foxboro and every one of them has walked away defeated.

The Jets Defense vs. The Patriots Offense

The Jets run defense is tough and the Patriots will likely have a hard time gaining a lot of yards on the ground.  In their Week 2 matchup, they had only 52 yards rushing.  Tom Brady’s offensive line is designed to protect him while he picks apart defenses and this is where the Patriots will score their points. 

This week, Jets safety Jim Leonhard suffered a season-ending broken leg.  Not only was Leonhard a critically important player, but he was the on-field leader who called all the defensive plays.  It is a big defensive loss for the Jets and Brady will look to exploit this weakness.

Jets cornerback Darrell Revis is one of the best defensive players in the NFL.  He has done a phenomenal job of shutting down superstar receivers all season long.  But Brady no longer has that one big-play receiver since Moss’ trade.  That makes it a challenge for Jets Coach Rex Ryan in trying to determine who to cover.  While Ryan loves to blitz against the Patriots, Brady’s signature quick release will make it difficult to stop the pretty Patriot QB.

The Patriots Defense vs. The Jets Offense

The Patriots defense is considered weak.  They are surrendering about 399 yards per game.  Their pass defense is ranked 32nd and will allow Jets QB Mark Sanchez to find some of his favorite targets –   wide receiver Santonio Holmes and tight end Dustin Keller.  The Jets have great depth in their receiving corps with Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Brad Smith, Patrick Turner, and as of this weekend, Laveranues Coles.  Rex Ryan brought the veteran receiver back on board after releasing him this past summer.

Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson is having a productive season. At age 31, LT has (no pun intended) not missed a step this year.  He leads the team in receptions (45) and has carried the ball 166 times this season, resulting in 5 TDs.  Look for the Patriots to try to shut down the Jets running game and force Sanchez to throw.  With the depth in the receiving corps, Sanchez could have a big day if his offensive line can give him protection and time.

While Sanchez is not yet the caliber of QB that Brady is, he is becoming more poised as the season progresses.  He has pulled out some late comeback wins and won twice in overtime.  Many young QBs might feel intimidated by the prestige of Brady and the Patriots, but Sanchez will handle the pressure well.

The Final Word

Both the Patriots and Jets are entering tonight’s game very well prepared.  Both teams had 12 days of rest since their last game, which was on Thanksgiving.  Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick are two of the most meticulous and fiercely competitive coaches in the NFL.  Having so much time to prepare, there will likely be 2 well designed game plans.  Like an architect designing an intricate building, these coaches will have a detailed strategy dealing with every facet of the game. 

The outcome will be determined by the execution of those game plans.  Whichever team follows their coach’s strategy and committs less mistakes will emerge victorious.  While it is no secret that I am neither a Tom Brady nor a Patriot fan, I do believe they have the advantage in tonight’s game.    Look for a close game, with the Patriots winning by 3.

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23 responses to this post.

  1. This should prove to be a great game. I am going to have to go for the Jets on this one…simply because I can’t stand Tom Brady’s hair…oh…and because I am tired of seeing New England win so much 🙂

    http://www.runtobefit.wordpress.com

    Reply

  2. Posted by Teri on December 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Nice analysis of the game, and congrats on being pressed! I became a J-E-T-S fan (and developed a strange crush on Rex Ryan) during the HBO series Hard knocks. You would have thought maybe I could pick someone with looks, youth, and developing talent like Mark Sanchez….but there’s something about that trucker trap on Rex!

    Cheers 🙂

    http://yourlifesentence.wordpress.com/

    Reply

    • Thank you! We are sooo excited about being freshly pressed! We dont know how or why it happened, but it’s been fun!

      It’s ok to have a crush on Rex Ryan.. a much better than choice than someone like Tom Brady! 🙂

      Reply

  3. im so excited for tonights game. cannot wait!!!! good break down on defense vs offense and vice versa. i will pick brady though. too much offense

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

    Reply

    • Thank you and I am glad you stopped by! I recorded tonight’s game and am now in the 2nd quarter and, yes, the Patriots have way too much offensive talent right now for the Jets. It is a bit of a shocker!

      Reply

  4. Thanks for sharing this great post!
    http://www.easyfatlose.info

    Reply

  5. well thought out. as a pats fan, im tired of hearing we somehow need revenge though. we dont need revenge against a team that hasnt appeared in a superbowl in over four decades.
    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

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  6. J E T S Jets Jets Jets! Can’t wait for tonight! We love Rex and believe our day has finally come. You just can’t beat the Jets when it comes to tenacity. They will fight to the bitter end.

    Reply

  7. Nice post! Should be an interesting game!

    Reply

  8. This is going to be good!

    Reply

  9. When will the Football end??

    evelyngarone.com

    Reply

  10. Posted by Ty on December 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    The Patriots and Jets are both great teams. Both have awesome quarterbacks and outstanding offensive lines that give enough time to the QB and let em’ work their magic. The Patriots are coming off a big twenty one point win over the Detroit Lions and the Jets are coming of their sixteen point win over the beaten down Bangles. I can agree with a close game but I think the game will be decided over a 7 point victory taken by the Patriots. Brady is a great QB and the same goes to Sanchez, but no one can play in cold weather like Tom Brady. Given the cold weather, running backs will have low yardage gains which means the defensive corners will have a long night of running. The Jets have a better defense when it comes to pass defense yet Brady has a quick release for the dump-off passes that should pick the Jets defense apart.Don’t be surprised to see the Jets lose this game. The past few games the Jets had victories determined by a few turnovers that gave the NY team an advantage. The Patriots have cut down their mistakes and should play well at home. I can’t wait to watch the game tonight!

    Reply

  11. Unbelievable how big this game has turned out to be. I think the Patriots offense is the key, because in order to win this team needs to continue to live up to the “most scoring offense in the league” mantra. It’s obviously incredibly tough against this stout defense, which should lead to some interesting developments throughout the night.

    sportsblastradio.com

    Reply

  12. Hmmm. As a J-E-T-S Jet, Jets, Jets fan since they played in New York City (as they should be now by-the-way) at Shea Stadium and the quarterback was a guy known as Joe “Willie” Namath (maybe you’ve heard of him?, I have never thought about blogging about a game during the season. The fact that you are a female doing this is very interesting to me – major props! Kudos for being “freshly pressed” like little Italy olive oil (lower Manhattan that is. I hope the game itself lives up to the hype – they seldom do anymore, and the weather (frigid temps) may prove a factor. I took Gang Green in our weekly pool…they ARE 9 and 2 after-all.

    http://achilliad.wordpress.com

    Reply

    • Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I am very excited about being “freshly pressed”!

      I recorded the game and am watching it now – I am only part way through the 2nd quarter, but it isnt looking good for Gang Green, which pains me since I pretty much despise Tom Brady (for no good reason, really…it is just one of those things!)

      Reply

  13. Posted by Edmund on December 7, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Can I please ride your coat tails to stardom??

    CONGRATULATIONS on the success!!

    Reply

    • Thank you Edmund! Yes, you can, but only if you somehow manage to get me into the playoffs in our fantasy league 🙂 Deal???

      “The Blonde Side” has really played like a bunch of dumb blondes this season! So embarrassing!

      Reply

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