The Week 5 matchup between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots is one of the best games of the weekend, but it doesn't have quite the same feeling as the last couple of years. New York is surprisingly just 2-2, while the Patriots have lost to the Buffalo Bills. If the Jets win on Sunday, there's a possibility that neither team could be in first place, even though most assumed the games between these two teams would determine not only the AFC East champion, but perhaps home field advantage in the playoffs.
Still, despite the fact that the teams have already combined for three losses this year, the Patriots offense and Jets defense both look fantastic. There are a number of key matchups on that side of the ball, with the most important probably being who Darrelle Revis is going to cover.
New York Jets blog Gang Green Nation believes that Revis Island is going to be moved from the outside to the slot so that the Pro Bowl corner can cover on fire, record setting receiver Wes Welker. This is thanks to the development of Kyle Walker.
I think Kyle Wilson's emergence has a lot to do with this decision. With Wilson playing well, the Jets now have three good cover guys. They feel they can trust Kyle to handle an outside receiver. This differs from the scheme the Jets used to great success in the Playoffs, but I think we need to see the total package to judge. I am nervous at the thought this creates a Deion Branch-Antonio Cromartie matchup given the way Branch torched Cro in Foxborough during the 45-3 game, but the Jets might create an entirely different matchup with the scheme they run. New York could not do the exact same things this time now that Brady has had nine months to examine how the Jets confused him. Some tweaks were probably necessary. I understand putting the best corner on the planet against a receiver on a record setting pace.
Meanwhile, New England Patriots blog Pats Pulpit thinks that Mark Sanchez's play will be key. Sanchez struggled against the Baltimore Ravens, and if he continues to play poorly, things should go well for the Patriots.
This week, like in weeks past, comes down to the opposing quarterback. Sanchez has looked pedestrian so far this season, but has always stepped his game up when it came to playing the Patriots. If Mark can keep from making bad decisions, it will be a hard fought game for the Patriots. If New England's front four can somehow turn a corner and force Sanchez into making quick throws, this is the Patriots' game to lose.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, October 9; 4:15 P.M. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Patriots: 98.5 WBZ FM
Jets: 1050 AM ESPN Radio