NY Jets Might Have What it Takes to Beat Patriots
Wayne Root: NY Jets Might Have What it Takes to Beat Patriots
There's a lot to love about the New York Jets so far in the 2015 season. Todd Bowles is doing a great job as head coach. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been efficient as a game manager, though we all know his weaknesses will be exposed by elite defenses, or any time the Jets have to rally from behind. Thus far...against a very easy schedule...the team has impressed.
Since the Jets/Redskins game got out of hand early in the second half last week, you may not have been paying attention to the final numbers. Let me review those quickly...because the Jets were DOMINANT across the board.
NYJ won total yardage 474-225 (that's plus 249 in total yardage!)
NYJ won rushing yardage 221-34 (crushed them at the point of attack)
NYJ won yards-per-play 7.1 to 3.6 (this is an NFL game, those are college numbers)
This wasn't a replay of Jets/Browns back in the season opener when New York just cashed in cheap points off of five turnovers. New York accumulated the stats of a champion on this day. In fact, they might have won bigger if they didn't suffer three turnovers themselves. Special teams still needs some work. New York let Washington return a blocked punt for a TD or the final score would have been 34-13 instead of 34-20.
And, this is on the heels of similar stat dominance over Miami a few weeks ago in London.
NYJ won total yardage 425-226 (plus 199 in total yardage)
NYJ won rushing yardage 207-59 (dominant)
NYJ won yards-per-play 5.9 to 3.9 (another squash)
So, the Jets crushed the Dolphins, had a bye week, then crushed Washington. It could turn out that this group looks great against the very worst teams in the league (remember that Miami fired their coach right after the Jets game). But, it has to be said that those kind of "stat blowouts" are usually reserved for when elites dominate pretenders. Some computers think the Jets are a Super Bowl contender off those numbers!
We'll learn more about that this week when they have to visit the defending Super Bowl champions. You regulars know that WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is THE KING OF UPSETS, with more documented upset calls than any other handicapper in history. Obviously my initial approach is to look at the dog to see if there is enough upset potential for a PINNACLE release or other major play.
In NY's favor...
*They play just like Rex Ryan's Jets teams who often played great vs. the Pats
*They're arguably playing BETTER than those Jets with this coach
*Ryan Fitzpatrick is better now than Mark Sanchez was when he was in the playoffs
*The Jets running game is dynamic, and may be able to control the clock vs. Brady
In terms of the "rock, paper, scissors" elements of NFL matchups, these Jets are well-suited to at least compete with the Patriots. It's not like this is a team modeled after the Pats but slightly worse at every position. This is a team modeled on what can beat the Patriots. Very important.
That being said...the schedule's been so weak in 2015 that these early impressions might be illusions. Maybe the Jets are a 9-7 bully that can run up the score on weaklings...and they're mostly playing weaklings so far. I can't forget that the Jets lost badly to Philadelphia a few weeks ago. That 24-17 decision showed off their weaknesses.
*Fitzpatrick can't play from behind (3 interceptions)
*Only 47 rushing yards, which means the Jets are mortal if you stop their run
*A tendency to panic if things aren't going well
Put THOSE factors together on the road against the Patriots, and it might be a home blowout by the third quarter because Fitzpatrick keeps throwing interceptions in an overly frantic come-from-behind effort.
I don't expect to release the Patriots. It's likely either Jets or pass for me this weekend. I can assure you that I'll be watching this game very closely in terms of understanding the AFC playoff picture this season. We pretty much already know that New England, Denver, and Cincinnati are on the short list of serious contenders. Should the Jets be on that list? Are the Jets a "new" version of Seattle with a fantastic defense and a game managing quarterback? Or, is this fast start a schedule illusion? Sunday should make that very clear.
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Back with you early next week to talk about the World Series that begins Tuesday night October 27. Can you believe the NBA begins next week as well?! We'll be attacking the Vegas line SEVEN DAYS A WEEK for the foreseeable future. That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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