Rehashing Pats @ Jets: Pats D vs. Jets O-Face

Posted: November 21, 2011 by ndbohlen in Jets, NFL, Opinion, Patriots
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Nick: In our preview of the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Patriots, you couldn’t help but toss in a barb directed at the Patriots defense. Despite getting manhandled on Sunday night, you couldn’t begrudge the New England defense even the slightest of compliments.  And I took some serious offense – no one disrespects my team and gets away with it. Even if I don’t know most of the names of the players on the field because they were just signed off the practice squad.

 I quote,

The Patriots’ defense still isn’t good. Mark Sanchez wasn’t fooled or outplayed… at least not by any amount that should give you hope. Sanchez was obscenely sloppy. Belichick’s major improvement was in the offensive scheme, not the defensive. I think there are still plenty of reasons to doubt the Patriots’ defense. Not any that would preclude a win in Foxboro this weekend, but plenty that ought to raise eyebrows as the Pats eye another trip to the playoffs.

I agreed with you, reiterating that I could barely spring a semi-hard at the thought of the Pats defense. But I hardly was about to let you get away with this “The New York Jets beat the New York Jets” crap, which is exactly what Chargers tight end Randy McMichael said after San Diego lost to the Jets a couple of weeks ago.

What ensued was a bitter grudge match that saw two heavyweights (literally; I guess that’s what IVs of IPA will do to you) go toe-to-toe in defense of their team and their moral principle of never admitting that the opposition has a point.

We pick up the action with Mike’s response to my accusation that he believes the Patriots were mere bystanders as the nation watched his Jets beat themselves. Cue the music

Mike: Did I say that? The Jets didn’t beat the Jets. Brady picked apart the Jets pass defense. That’s not a question. But that defense is nothing to be excited about.

Nick: Kudos to you for bringing yourself to give credit to the Pats offense.  I’m so proud of you for not going full McMichael on me.  But you are saying the exact same thing McMichael said, except you’re simply limiting it to your offense.

Our front seven dominated your O-line and forced Sanchez into throws even our secondary could defend.  With Haynesworth jettisoned and more playing time for Andre Carter and Mark Anderson, the Pats could actually generate a pass rush that won’t force our paltry secondary to cover opposing receivers for ten seconds at a time.

You’re telling me that I can’t be irrationally hopeful about the prospect of the Patriots finally getting after the quarterback?

Mike: Carter had an unbelievable night because D’Brickashaw Ferguson played completely out of character. The front seven did not dominate; one match-up became incredibly important for the Pats because it was insanely lopsided, and the Jets thought Ferguson would sooner or later play like he usually does.

Nick: What you are saying is that the Jets offense couldn’t get out of its own way; they simply played poorly, and the Patriots defense doesn’t deserve any credit. According to you, Carter didn’t have a great game of his own merit; Ferguson “played out of character.”

The Pats had 5 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and 8 QB hits. Besides, even if this was one match-up they exploited, isn’t that what it’s all about? Exploiting the match-ups in your favor? And if so, why didn’t the Jets make adjustments for an extra blocker? You can’t just say they expected Ferguson to turn it around all of a sudden.

Mike: The Patriots defense didn’t do so great of a job as you would imagine, especially the front seven. Let’s look at each sack:

1. Mulligan (that jerk-off) stayed in and was beaten after 3.3 seconds. Keller was open on a cross. So, Sanchez was slightly hurried (3.3 seconds is not fast by NFL standards), but it didn’t matter because he didn’t see the open receiver anyway.
2. Carter was unblocked. Sanchez should have seen this; even your erotic-fixation, Mr. Collinsworth, said this was Sanchez’s fault.
3. Tomlinson stayed in to block, but instead of blocking a Patriot, he got in the way of Ferguson and allowed Carter to beat him on the inside. Intentional grounding called.
4. Carter beat Tomlinson and Ferguson, the passing routes were covered. This was a shining moment for the Pats defense. But you can’t call it a sack because Sanchez ran forward and gain a yard or so on the play.
5. Carter and Anderson shared this one, but Patrick Turner was being held down field. Good sack, but sloppy play from the secondary.
6. Carter beats Ferguson and sacks Sanchez at 2.9 seconds. This was a solid hurry/sack.
7. Same as #6, but it took .2 seconds longer.

Nick: Where are you getting this?  Are you sitting at home watching Jets games with a stopwatch?  Are you secretly a professional football scout and you haven’t told me?  Where did this come from?

Mike: I see more of the Jets not clicking on offense, like they did against the Bills, than I see the Patriots defense dominating the field. And why would you even ask why Ryan didn’t make a sideline adjustment when you know that Ryan didn’t even make an off-field adjustment during the 3 weeks of hell when the O-line was being slighted by their own teammates?

The Pats-Jets match-up is one in which I can clearly see that Jets offense giving too many opportunities to the worst defense in the league. By comparison, look at the Ravens game in Week 4. There was not a single passing play in which Sanchez did not either get rid of the ball or get hurried at the 2.5 second mark. That is strong defense overpowering weak offensive protection.

What I saw on Sunday night was not good defense. That’s like saying that scavenger birds are good killers.

Nick: Now, I agree with you, the Jets offense was not playing very well (when do they?). Sure, they’re not the Ravens defense (nice pun yourself, buddy boy), and no, I don’t think they proved themselves to be any better in the long run by stopping Señor Sanchez. I just think it’s ludicrous (Ludacris?) to sit there with your stopwatch and pretend like those 11 guys in blue on the other side of the line of scrimmage had nothing to do with that.

Mike: Sanchez played like it was Week 4. And the pick off of a check-down toss was one-in-a-million, which only testifies to the degree to which the Jets offense was completely misfiring. Only Mangold, undoubtedly the best center in the league, played like a professional, neutralizing the NFL’s best nose tackle, Vince Wilfork.

Nick: Of course the defense didn’t hurry Sanchez and make him get rid of the ball early, and of course the defensive backs didn’t cover the receivers well enough to make it difficult on the QB; Sanchez just “played like it was Week 4.” Does that just mean he played like the crappy QB he usually is?

As for your “one in a million” comment, the tipped interception was one in a million, I’ll give you that. The pick-six with eight minutes left? That was a product of reading the QB and knowing he had been throwing underneath all night and jumping the route with perfect timing. That’s a good football play, not luck.

You’re treating this game like it was the Jets offense was doing a walk-through, and then all of a sudden Pats defenders apparated out of the Harry Potter series to suddenly jump in for a couple of sacks and interceptions.

Mike: The Patriots beat up on the Jets defense, but the Patriots defense did not mirror their offense — they merely took advantage of the Jets’ offensive miscues. That’s why Belichick was so proud of scoring 37 points on the eighth-ranked defense in the league. The Patriots defense hasn’t turned a corner.

Nick: Do I think the Pats defense is good all of a sudden? No! But do I think they deserve some credit for forcing the Jets into turnovers, poor timing, and an inability to string together drives? Of course. You can’t simply separate offensive performance from the defense’s affect with such a cut and dry distinction.

Unless you really want to be the one to say you beat yourselves on offense, after getting all pissy a couple weeks ago over that McMichael quote.

Mike: McMichael said that his entire team beat themselves. And, still, I’m not arguing that. I’m saying that the Patriots defense did not step-up in any way on Sunday to make me believe they are better. All I say was the Jets offense playing poorly. If I was pulling a McMichael, I wouldn’t have given credit to Brady and the no-huddle offense. Twice this year Brady has beaten the Jets from no-huddle. The Jets defense was playing well, but Brady’s offense played better. That’s where the Patriots won.

Nick: To say they didn’t step up for that one game is just a flat out lie.  They held the Jets to 16 points and did everything I wanted from them as a Patriots fan (short of dropping loads on Sanchez’s 17-year-old girlfriend).  They took advantage of the match-ups that suited them and made the most of the opportunities the Jets offense gave them – you seriously think they don’t at least deserve a polite golf clap for that?

I just think you’re so emotionally scarred after Sunday’s loss that your testicles have retreated so far that your Adam’s apple feels claustrophobic, and the only way you can cope with it is to deny deny deny when it comes to acknowledging that just maybe the Pats defense had something to do with throwing off the rhythm of your already uninspiring offense.

Call the Pats D scavenger birds all you want, but we still pecked at the Jets’ eyes enough to keep them from getting it in the end zone.  Which, by the way, is the entire philosophy of the Patriots defense, to bend, not break, to simply wait for the offense to beat themselves – which the Jets did to a tee. I’m just surprised you’re too blind from the pecking to see it.

Mike:  Between you and Tim Tebow, I’m pretty sure I’m “seeing the light,” Nick. So what the hell did we get out of this? Does this change anything?

Nick: Absolutely not. I can’t wait to order nothing but Bud Heavy, my new drink of choice for all Pats games, and chug with smug satisfaction tonight while the Patriots defense mediocres its way to another falsely encouraging performance.

Mike: Since I would never dare don another team’s jersey, I’m going to dress up like Tonto tonight. “That right, kimosabe!” Who knows, maybe a Chiefs win will turn Tontoing into the new Tebowing.

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