7-Things for

Jets Part II.


Patriots Game


An Old Story.

By Tom Mahoney

4. Defensively Speaking!- The Pats just have a better defense than the Jets. That’s going to be the biggest factor in game with two Rookie QBs starting. Whichever defense plays the best, and takes advantage of Rookie QB mistakes to create turnovers is going to win this game. Both QBs dominated in college in different ways. Each one is trying to prove he’s better than the other. Which QB can take the big hit, get back up, and keep throwing accurately is going to win.

“I think he handled it like a quarterback. It’s not abnormal to be under pressure and to get hit in this league. I’ve got the number in front of me, obviously it’s still too many. But quarterbacks get hit. They get pressured at a very high rate in this league,” Jets HC Robert Saleh said. “Especially when you’re forced to drop back pass, which is the hardest thing to do in football because of the pass rush and its ability to win one-on-ones and get home. I thought he did a great job. What was great about him is that it seemed like the more pressure, the better he got. And as the game went on, the more Carolina pressured, the more the pocket was collapsing, it just seemed like he rose to the challenge and got better, which was awesome to see. He’s fearless, he’s tough, and like I said earlier in the week, we don’t want to measure his toughness, but at the same time, he demonstrated it on Sunday.”

Whichever QB can start off the fastest is likely to win as well. When you get a lead against a Rookie QB, it’s very difficult for rookie QBs to overcome it. Both QBs did it in College, but neither did it last week. I was a Mac Jones guy in the Draft. I was not a Wilson guy in the Draft. I thought he was too wild mentally, and some of his off the field concerns bothered me. Playing QB in the NFL is so much more mental, than any position in any other sport. But like Belichick said, those mental oddities, and unusual behaviors also made him the most unpredictable Quarterback in College Football last season. Which can cause a lot of trouble for Defenders and D-Coordinators. That’s Wilson magic.

“You always want to start fast. We talk about starting fast, finish faster. You got to go with the punches of the game. There’s going to be ebbs and flows, there’s going to be adversity, there’s going to be high points, low points,” Jets HC Robert Saleh said. “It’s just when they come, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just about playing the game to the best of your ability and taking every play with what it is. Obviously, we are a young team, so a little bit of confidence early doesn’t hurt anybody. It wouldn’t hurt a veteran team, either. To answer your question, starting fast would be awesome, but at the same time, starting fast can’t be your sole purpose.”

5. Rookie to Defense- The Jets install a new aggressive style Defense. They want to attack the QB, like the Seattle Seahawk’s defense attacks the QB. This is not good news for Mac Jones. They are going to be looking to hit him. Blitzing from every angle to confuse him and hopefully get him to throw it into the wrong spot. He has to be ready for an all-out assault on the O-line. He’s not a great athlete with speed. But he’s a great foot athlete, who can move and groove in the pocket to keep far out of the Defense’s clutches.

“All the characteristics schematically that we've seen from those teams that run the Seattle three-type of defense. Coach (Saleh) has done a good job with the teams that he's had,” BB said. “Whether it be as a position coach or the last four years at San Francisco as a coordinator, of executing those plays, making adjustments and adding his own wrinkles to what they do based on the players that he has and the teams that he faces and little game plan adjustments that they make. He's done a good job with that.”

Wilson is a maniac on the field. That’s his magic. He can unleash those, what I call, “Mahomes Throws”. When he’s off-schedule, out of phase, and out of his mind, he somehow completes them. When an HC sees the opponent’s QB make those wild throws he has to be happy. Only then… he somehow completes them. Pure instinctual QB. Which can be tougher to defend. He’ll make some crazy throws downfield, and the Pats D just has to take it. But he’ll turn it over as well.

“These young quarterbacks are so advanced nowadays. Mac looked very-very impressive in his game against Miami who throws a bunch of different looks, who has a really good pass rush. I think they hit him nine times,” Jets HC Robert Saleh said. “You have to play your game. I’ve been on the other side of the coin where you have a rookie quarterback, or you have a backup quarterback in or whoever it might be in, so you try to trick him and all you do is trick yourself. We’ve got a style to our game, we have a system. Does that mean we’re not going to have wrinkles? We have wrinkles within our scheme, but at the same time, it’s about us, it’s about how we prepare, it’s about how we attack our job and it’s about how we play to the best of our ability.”

6. Pats Vs. Jets Factor- It’s funny, the Pats and Jets are such hated rivals that wacky things tend to happen. Fights break out. Refs go nuts blowing their whistles. Coaches grab players and tell them to calm the hell down. Which makes it oh-so enjoyable. Jets love the cheap-shots, and trouble always seems to break out when they’re on the field. It will be interesting to see which team can keep their cool and win the game.

“I think it's pretty much the same with every player. They're all different,” BB said. “You have to decide with each player what responsibilities you feel comfortable with, they feel comfortable with, and what you're going to do going forward. Some players you know more about than others, but I'd say with every player there's an element of that.”

So both coaches will be looking to affect the QBs in different ways. The Jets D will be looking to get Jones out of the pocket, and out of rhythm, and off his calm, cool, and collected exterior. While the Pats will try to contain the Jets QB. Keeping him in the pocket with his eyes on the Rush. His magic is when he’s out of phase, off platform, and running around like a chicken with his head cut off. So in many ways, the two HCs will be looking for their Defense to do opposite things. The Jets want to force Mac out of the pocket to throw, and that’s the last thing the Pats want to see Wilson doing. Meanwhile the Pats want to contain Wilson and keep him throwing in the pocket, which is the last thing that the Jets want Wilson doing.

“What’s interesting, because you saw it in college, his off-schedule stuff. Going through preseason and training camp, and the preseason games, we never got to see him move, because he was trying to stay disciplined in the pocket, read his routes, go through his progressions and all that. You get in the game and leading up to it, I remember asking (Mike) LaFleur, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen when he gets hit the first time? Do you think he’s going to fumble?’ Shoot, his first shot was Brian Burns on a no look. I was like, ‘Oh god!’ But he held onto it and he popped back up. He had a free runner and he made him miss and I was like, ‘Damn, this kids got a really cool feel in the pocket that we weren’t able to see because he was trying to be disciplined during practice.’ He’s a tremendous young man and, like I said, it seemed like he got better as the pressure mounted, which we don’t want to see, we want him to be able to throw from the pocket, but he proved that he relished the moment and he got better as he went. It’s going to be exciting to see him grow.”

What’s interesting is that the QBs are on the opposite sides of the QB skills. Mac is a pure pocket passer, who best skill with his feet, is sliding in the pocket to get more time to throw. While Wilson is a really a pure scrambler, who is at his best when he sprints outside like a maniac, and throws deep while on the move. The defense that makes the QB do the opposite of what they want to do in the pocket, is going to win this game. If Mac is fleeing the pocket consistently, he’s going to have a tough time winning. If the Pats can keep Wilson in the pocket, the Jets will need a miracle to win.

7. Pats Win- Pats Win. Mac’s more reliable and Pats have better Defense. Gotta Go to a Pats-Party to watch the game! Bye.

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