By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Coming off a disappointing road loss to the Seahawks, going into Foxborough to hand the Brady Bunch their second loss in a row is quite a daunting task. However, with good games from key players, the Jets have several matchups in their favor that can tip the scales and get the Jets the upset.
Here are the players to watch in Sunday’s game.
Quinton Coples: In his first start, Coples had quite an impressive stat-line with two sacks and four tackles. He was able to get consistent pressure and force Andrew Luck into getting rid of the ball before he wanted to.
Conversely, the Patriots have one of the weaker interior lines in the NFL. The Jets will need Coples to take advantage in one of the few weaknesses in the Pats offense to throw Tom Brady off his game.
Kyle Wilson: The Jets need to figure out a way to get Kyle Wilson matched up with Deion Branch or Brandon Lloyd as much as possible, because Wes Welker will eat him alive.
However, Welker has had a lot of success against Antonio Cromartie in the past (or anyone not named Darrelle Revis), meaning the Jets will have to give him more than single coverage for the majority of the game.
David Harris: What has gone largely under the radar this year is how poor Harris is playing, especially in terms of missed tackles.
The Patriots are much more balanced than the have been in years, and are 4th in the NFL in rushing. The Jets need Harris and the entire front seven to elevate their game against Stevan Ridley and company, because the Jets cannot afford to keep extra defenders in the box against their aerial attack.
LaRon Landry: The Jets brought in Landry and Yeremiah Bell for one reason: To stop the Patriots arsenal of tight ends. Landry will see a heavy dose of Rob Grokowski, and the better coverage job he does against him, the fewer valuable resources they have to give him in support.
Mark Sanchez: This goes without saying, but Sanchez is going to have to do a lot more throwing than he did last week in which he completed just 11 passes for 82 yards in the win.
The Patriots are going to key on the run and make Mark Sanchez beat them, which is what most teams in the NFL do. Sanchez cannot be timid to test this secondary down the field, which has been prone to give up big plays and penalty yards.
Stephen Hill: As I previously stated, the Pats cornerbacks are prone to give up a lot of penalty yards because they do not play the ball in the air.
Conversely, Hill is a terrific deep-ball player who plays the ball as well as any rookie to come out of the draft this year. Any one-on-one situation he has with McCourty heavily favors the Jets, as long as Sanchez can deliver a catch-able ball.