The New England Patriots entertain bitter AFC East rivals the New York Jets with both teams planning on walking out of Gillette Stadium with a winning record and the divisional lead. The two teams seasons couldn’t be more different yet they both find themselves tied for the lead in the east at 3-3. With the Pats flying back from Seattle humbled after a 1 point loss and the holes in their young secondary looking bigger each week. The Jets are coming off a big win against Andrew Lucks Colts. The Jets finally got their ground and pound game working which you need to do when you have Sanchez at QB but Jets fans shouldn’t get carried away as it was only against the Colts and running on the Patriots defence is a completely different prospect with a big and talented front 7 which includes one of the best if not the best run stuffer in the NFL in Vince Wilfork and 2 big hitting linebackers in Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes.

This match up has a lot of different aspects that could have an impact on the decision and here are a few of them:

1. Rex Ryan has to change his game plan against this New England offence. HIs plan in recent years has been to flood the backfield with defensive backs and press the wideouts at the line of scrimmage. This will not work this season as New England will gladly run the ball out of its base multiple-tightend set whenever a defence comes out in its nickel and dime packages. I really think people are underestimating just how good Steven Ridley is and the potential he has. Unlike Green-Ellis last season Ridley makes people miss and he is a true primary back.

2. One key match up is Brandon Lloyd vs Antonio Cromartie. With no Revis this year Cromartie is having to cover the best wide out on the field every week and he’s done a pretty good job completely shutting down the likes of Andre Johnson of the Texans but he did struggle last week against the Colts which is typical of Cromarties hot and cold form.

3. Sanchez improving? Its only two games but Sanchez has mostly made good decisions but this is Mark Sanchez and who knows which Sanchez will turn up today? Everything the Jets need to do to get a W this week will fall onto Sanchez’s plate as if they go ground and pound that will be playing right into Belichick’s hands. WIth Sanchez having to throw this week he could get some good numbers with New Englands poor secondary but with the Pats finally having a pass rush mostly thanks to rookie DE Chandler Jones who is leading the hunt for the Defensive Rookie of the year award, Sanchez could get beat up a little which in turn will lead to inaccurate throws and turnover possibilities.

4. The Patriots no-huddle offence has been ridiculous this year with Jets linebacker Calvin Pace claiming its so quick its borderline ‘illegal’. Brady stung this defence in week 10 last season with his no-huddle in a 37-16 pasting. The truth is if this hurt the Jets last season its going to hurt them even more this time around with Lloyd lining up giving the offence a vertical threat and Ridley in the backfield adding a running game which the Pats lacked last year.

5. Hernandez is on the injury list but so is most of the Patriots team so expect him to play and have a big impact today with fellow tight end Gronk having his biggest game this season in my opinion. If these two produce and Lloyd continues to make plays this could be a long day for this Jets defence.

6. One last quick point, if this game goes down to coaching the Patriots will walk it.

The Patriots win this one.


Tough game for Brady and co.

Great news for the Pats


New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is expected to play today (14/10/12) against the Seattle Seahawks after travelling with the team yesterday.

Hernandez hasn’t played since spraining his ankle in week 2. He managed a bit of practice time on Wednesday and Thursday but sat out the Patriots session on Friday.

In the two games Hernandez has taken part in this season, he has made 6 catches for a total of 59 yards and a touchdown.

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The New England Patriots travel to CenturyLink Field to face the Seahawks, their second game against an NFC West team this year.

This game is one that hasn’t had many headlines in the week with the verbal sparring taking place between the 49ers and the Giants but this game is an interesting one this gameweek.

The Seahawks are good, there’s no getting around that but the Pats are the class of the AFC. Brady and his O-line will be having restless nights leading up to this one with a Seattle defence that sacked Aaron Rodgers 8 times in one half earlier this year. The Pats line came in for criticism earlier this year with the lack of protection for Brady but since they have stepped up their game and have contributed nicely keeping Brady upright and making running lanes for New England running back quartet which has been more effective than anyone could have imagined.

The crowd in Seattle are loud and they will try and disrupt Brady and the best no huddle offence around which will be key in this game. With Belichick keeping quiet on whether versatile TE Aaron Hernandez will play Sunday I have a feeling he will get some action and this adds another dimension to this offence which is arguably the best around already so if Brady stays clean expect some plays with the likes of Gronk, Welker, Lloyd and company.

For me the key to this game is Marshawn Lynch. The Pats have been good against the run but Lynch presents a problem if Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes don’t bring their A game. This is why I don’t see the Patriots awful secondary been much of a factor.

Settles defence will keep them in this game but Lynch must make plays to give them a chance of walking away with a W. If the Patriots fly home with a win expect a Patriots run to materialise in the coming weeks.

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AFC Championship rematch!.

Undoubtably the game of the week in the week 3 match ups has to be the New England Patriots travelling to the Baltimore Ravens a rematch from last seasons AFC Championship game which New England won after Billy Cundiff blew a gimme of a field goal with the last play of the game which would have sent the game into overtime.

When the schedules were released people were talking about the Patriots going 16-0 with one of (if not) the easiest schedules in the NFL and now people are talking about them starting 1-2! In reality this could happen to either team after the Ravens followed up their impressive opening win with a loss to the Eagles.

Some key things to watch in this game:

1. New Englands Offensive Line – with no Brian Waters or Matt Light and Logan Mankins plus Sebastian Vollmer not at 100% and not to forget Dan Connoly missing last week against the Cards there are real problems for this offensive line which has the job of keeping Tom Brady safe. The Baltimore pass rush isn’t the most fearsome in the NFL but after last weeks performance from the Pats Brady may be hearing footsteps with the slightest bit of pressure.

2. The Welker saga – WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH WES WELKER?! Why the Pats are trying to phase Wes out of the offence is beyond most people including me. Sharing snaps with Julian Edelman and being targeted sparingly takes a huge part away from the offence that was so successful last year. With the unfortunate injury to Aaron Hernandez which will keep him out into October might pave a way for Welker back into this offence. Welker can be the difference in this game if he is used to his potential, no matter how good Ray Lewis was/still is he cant cover a guy with the speed of Welker from the slot if Brady gets the right protection and this would open up Gronk’s effectiveness.

3. What Joe Flacco will turn up? – Flacco outplayed Brady in the AFC Championship which shocked almost everyone who has an interest in the NFL, he followed that up with a near perfect display in week 1 against divisional rivals Cincinnati with a no-huddle type offence that he ran perfectly. Week 2 however was a different story especially the 2nd half where Flacco looked like Flacco of old throwing it underneath and not been very effective at all. Although the Pats defence looks a lot better than last year with the additions of 1st round draft picks Chandler Jones who has a look of Jason Pierre-Paul and Linebacker Dont’a Hightower I think they can still be dominated by a fast paced offence which the Ravens are capable of.

Whatever happens i’m sure this game will be very enjoyable and could be a preview of this year’s AFC Championship game.



Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Enrique, Shelvey, Sahin, Henderson, Downing, Yesil, Morgan, Gulacsi, Robinson, Coady, Suso, Sterling, Pacheco, Assaidi.


Possible starting line-up: Jones, Carrager, Wisdom, Coates, Enrique, Shelvey, Sahin, Henderson, Downing, Yesil, Assaidi

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