Last week, the New York Jets earned their first win of the season at home against the Dallas Cowboys, improving their record to 1-4. Sam Darnold had been out the previous three weeks with mononucleosis. With Darnold out, the Jets offense was stagnant, and Adam Gase was forced to play a straightforward attack. The gang in green will have to perform at the same level as they did against the Cowboys, against the Patriots on Monday Night Football.
The first four games were horrendous for the Jets, but mostly for head coach Adam Gase. His play calling was very easy to depict since around 80% of the time, the ball would be ran by Le’Veon Bell. On the other hand, the defense, led by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, did not play badly. They continued to fight for all four quarters of each game, but the offense was abysmal.
In the Jets week six matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Gase was able to open up and improve the playbook with quarterback Sam Darnold back. Instead of only running halfback dives and screen passes, Gase was able to incorporate play-action plays and deeper routes. This became evident immediately when the first play of the game was a play-action pass completed to Demaryius Thomas, who was on a deep over route. The whole game the Jets were able to throw all over the Cowboy’s defense and effectively move the ball down the field. Also, the Jets offensive line stepped up for this game, especially their rookie from USC, Chuma Edoga, who did not allow the Cowboys DE’s to lay a single hit on Darnold. Alex Lewis has also played quite well at guard since he subbed in for injured Kelechi Osemele.
Nevertheless, they were not perfect and allowed occasional pressure to quarterback Sam Darnold, but when the pressure came, Darnold was able to escape the pocket. Speaking of Darnold, he only had one big mistake the whole game. This came when he made a bad read and threw a pick right to Cowboy’s cornerback Jourdan Lewis inside the red zone.
Adam Gase has to have a similar offensive game plan against the Patriots on Monday night. Robby Anderson and Le’Veon Bell are two of the most electric players in the NFL; it will be critical to give them opportunities to get big chunk plays against the Patriots defense. Bill Belichick is obviously one of the best coaches in football; therefore, the Jets will have to add some trick plays to confuse the very prepared Pats. Since Belichick emphasizes watching game film during his practice sessions, the Jets could use that to their advantage by running plays that have yet been debuted.
The New York Jets defense played an excellent game against the high powered Cowboys offense last week. Gregg Willaims came into the game with a great game plan of pressuring Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Throughout the game, the Jets defense was able to apply enough pressure to Prescott to throw off his rhythm. Prescott was pressured into making bad reads and throws, which tremendously helped out the Jets defense. However, in the second half, the Cowboys stepped up their game and almost pulled off the comeback. Gregg Williams sent one of his best blitzes of the game during the Cowboys attempted two-point conversion. Safety Jamal Adams came screaming up the middle and forced an errant pass. Had the Cowboys completed the conversion, the game would have been tied and likely went into overtime. The Jets will have to have a somewhat similar game plan against the Jets as it will be crucial they get pressure up the middle. Tom Brady is at his best when he has time in the pocket, which means that the Jets defensive line can’t give Brady space to step into his throws. The Patriots offense has a lot of weapons in James White, Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, etc, therefore it is crucial that the Jets defense can neutralize the high powered attack. It is virtually impossible to shut down the Patriots offense completely, but they must be able to slow it down. If the Jets defensive line can wreak havoc as they did last week, they will have an excellent chance to pull off the upset on national television.
The New York Jets played a phenomenal game last week against the Cowboys, but they will need to be even better against the New England Patriots. If the Jets can learn from their previous game and put together a complete game plan they could pull off the upset.