Preview: Jets (3-3) vs. Patriots (5-1)

Can Geno Smith and the Jets offense be consistent and mistake-free agains the Pats? (JetsInsider.com Photo)

At 3-3 the Jets have been on a roller coaster ride this season. We don’t know which team is going to show up. If the pattern holds we should be expecting a win this Sunday, which would be great news with the division rival Patriots coming into town.

The last time these two teams squared off Tom Brady was getting used to new receivers and the Jets defense put up a dominant performance, but it wasn’t enough. Three late Geno Smith interceptions led to a tough 13-10 loss. Since then the Jets have lost Santonio Holmes, Kellen Winslow and Clyde Gates (though if we remember the last time these two teams faced off Gates doesn’t seem like much of a loss). Not to mention the Patriots have generally played the Jets better in their second meetings.
Geno has shown flashes since that game, and this time the Patriots are heading to the Meadowlands. At 3-3 the Jets are only a half game behind the Dolphins, and two behind the Patriots. A win this weekend will keep them above .500 for the season, and in the division as the currently are 1-1 against the AFC East.
When: Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 1:00 pm EST (TV – CBS, Radio – ESPN NY, 98.7 FM)

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Injury Report (As of Thursday):

Jets: Limited: CB Dee Milliner (hamstring), WR David Nelson (hamstring), CB Kyle Wilson (concussion) Did Not Practice: WR Santonio Holmes (foot, hamstring), WR Greg Salas (knee)

Patriots: Limited: TE Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (knee), S Devin McCourty (shoulder), WR Matt Slater (wrist), S Tavon Wilson (hamstring) Did Not Practice: WR Danny Amendola (concussion, groin), DT Tommy Kelly (knee), CB Aqib Talib (hip), RB Leon Washington (ankle)

Things to watch:

Running game – Mention the Jets ran for 129 yards in the last contest. The criticism in that game was they abandoned the run in the fourth quarter. With the injuries to the receivers, the running game will have to have be good.
Defensive line – Teams have been game planning to combat the Jets pressure. The Patriots aren’t going to beat you with great receivers, they’re going to beat you with Brady. This goes without saying every time the Jets, or any team, face Brady.
Guard against the big play – The last time these two teams met, a defensive breakdown near the beginning of the game was the difference. The Jets can’t allow the Patriots to get easy points in this one.
X-Factor
Stephen Hill – Kerley and Cumberland have been good, but they need someone else to step up. The player most likely is Stephen Hill. He has flashed big play potential, but he needs to be a guy Geno can rely on to move the chains. Hasn’t had more than 4 receptions in a game since week one. This week would be a good time to change that.
Result
Patriots win 24-17. Patriots always adjust to the Jets, and Brady has better rapport with receivers. Won’t be as low scoring as last time, and with all the injuries to receivers, and the Jets resistance to being a running team, they won’t have enough to beat the Pats.

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