1. Can the Jets stop the Oregon Offense?
Much has been made about the new offense Bill Belicheck has installed in New England this year. It has led to the Patriots having by far the most offensive attempts in 2012 and has helped them keep defenses on their toes.
At the same time, this is a team that is an uncharacteristic 3-3. Is this offense wearing down in games because of this technique? Is this hurting Tom Brady, who had two intentional grounding penalties last week against the Seahawks?
Jets will be without some key players on defense like starting DT Sione Po’uha, backup DT Kendrick Ellis, and SS Eric Smith. Those losses could be painful when substituting is such an important factor in this game.
2. Can the Jets stop Stevan Ridley?
In New England’s three wins, Ridley is averaging 127.3 yards and 5.4 per carry. In the Patriots 3 losses, he’s averaging 47.2 yards and 3.0 per carry.
Last week, the Jets were able to stop Colt’s backup RB Vick Ballard early and he never got going. The Jets didn’t allow anything more than a 5 yard run for the first time in team history. But in that game, the Jets offense took an early lead and eliminated the run. Shooting out to an early lead has been historically hard to do against the Patriots.
Ridley is also a more talented back than Ballard with a history of getting to the outside – a major issue the Jets D has. His inside burst to the outside will be terrifying to the defense.
Along the same lines, look out again for Danny Woodhead, whose short yard catches perpetually turn into huge gains against the Jets. This could be a bubble-screen type day, trying to work the quick and shifty Woodhead against the Jets slow and aging linebacker corps.
3. Will the young guys step up?
Much of this week has focused on the Jets not getting Chandler Jones in the draft. He has already made an impact so far this year.
The Jets will be looking, instead, to their own share of rookies and young players to step up today. Quinton Coples had two sacks last week and Demario Davis and Antonio Allen saw significant time at LB and S. Their speed and potential are traits the Jets will have to lean on today, especially defending the high-speed Pats offense.
4. Which Shonn Greene will the Jets get?
Greene went off on the Colts gaining 161 yards on 32 carries, finally showing life for the first time since game 1 of the season vs. The Bills. Can he keep it up? With Powell and McKnight missing today’s game at RB, Greene will not only be the last one standing, but probably the main key in keeping the pressure of Mark Sanchez here. In his career, he has averaged 4.0 yards per carry. He’ll need to keep doing that today.
5. Will the Jets figure out their substitutions?
Constantly, the Jets are scrambling to get the correct players out on defense and have a hard time any time they put Tim Tebow in the game. With the Patriots being a precise X’s and O’s team, the Jets will have to be on their game. There will be a lot of pressure on Rex Ryan and his coaches to be prepared today. The team has shown they are still supporting Ryan with great efforts against the Texans and Colts, can they make up for all their injuries and lack of depth today?