The Jets have thrown stones at the Patriots this week with their trash talk but is it enough to break New England?
The Patriots love bulletin board material and they love proving everybody wrong and this week they’re out to prove their defense is still very good.
Here’s my 3 favorite matchups to watch for:
1. Jamie Collins vs Jeff Cumberland
Collins and Fletcher are expected to make starts in the absence of Jerod Mayo and are expected to be the coverage linebackers which both are capable of. They both will have packages in this game and New England will use a lot of moving pieces.
Collins use to be a safety who turned linebacker later in his college years, and is solid in coverage and will have to be going up against Cumberland. Cumberland isn’t the best tight end but certainly good enough to make a defense pay if they don’t tightly cover him.
Geno Smith loves to throw to him as well, the security blanket of the Jets.
This is a must win matchup for New England.
2. Joe Vellano vs Bilal Powell
Vellano and Jones will be dealt a tough task again this week with Tommy Kelly sitting another game. They have to step up much better than they did in the second half against the Saints.
Powell is the guy who touches the rock a lot on the ground for the Jets and he will face a pair of moving rookies for the Patriots tomorrow.
Vellano and Jones have been solid making some big plays in key situations but the Patriots have to put it together for 4 quarters tomorrow.
This is actually the 2nd biggest matchup in the game because New England wants to force New York to throw the football to win. Taking away the run and making them one dimensional will help the limping Patriots a lot.
3. Sebastian Vollmer vs Muhammad Wilkerson
Protecting Tom Brady is a must in this game and every game.
When you give Brady time he is impossible to stop and Vollmer against Wilkerson is a big matchup tomorrow. Wilkerson is their best pass rusher and Vollmer is a steady tackle for New England.
The offensive line allowed a lot of hits on Brady against the Bengals and gave up 5 sacks against the Saints, something that can not happen in this game.
This matchup will be a battle and Vollmer and company better learn to pick up and stop blitzes before tomorrow.