Monday, December 6, 2010

Patriots vs. Jets: Round II

It is quite possibly the most talked about game of the season. And finally, it's only a few hours away. Here's how things break down for tonight's big AFC East matchup.

Mark Sanchez has matured rapidly this season. He's making good decisions, taking better care of the ball, and leading his team on lots of fourth quarter comebacks. But Tom Brady is still Tom Brady.

Advantage: Patriots

Running Backs
The Jets are once again among the eilte rushing teams in the league. New York averages 148.1 yards per game, which is good enough for fourth in the NFL. The Patriots running game has improved drastically, but their 112.5 rush yards per game is only good enough for 13th.

Advantage: Jets

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Santonio Holmes has been a pleasant addition for a team that was lacking a go-to guy. Braylon's performance, though spotty has been better than that of previous years. Still, if some is good, more is better. The Patriots don't have a lot of big names catching passes, but with Welker, Branch, Tate, Edelman, Hernandez, Gronkowski, Woodhead, and Green-Ellis all capable of making plays, there are just too many weapons.

Advantage: Patriots

The Patriots defense has improved quite a bit from the welcome mat that it used to be. Devin McCourty is one of the best young corners in the game. That said, this one is a no contest. Defense is Rex Ryan's specialty; his team allows only 17 points per game. The Patriots, on the other hand, allow 24.2 points per game and are last in yards allowed per game, totaling just shy of 400. Revis Island is a lonely place.

Advantage: Jets

It's hard to choose between these two coaches. Bill Belichick has been doing it for years, while Rex Ryan is perhaps the best new coach in the last decade. Belichick has his calm demeanor, while Ryan enjoys an entertaining swagger. More importantly, both coaches find ways to win. This is basically a push. I'll give the slight edge to the guy with the rings.

Advantage: Patriots

Final Score
Patriots 27, Jets 24... Brady leads the Patriots down the field with less than 4 minutes left and takes the lead back, Sanchez tries to duplicate, but Nick Folk misses a game-tying FG as time expires.

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