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Monday, December 6, 2010

MNF: Patriots Perspective

Players to Watch

Patriots' Tight Ends - The one place Tom Brady and the Patriots may want to attack the Jets' defense is in the middle of the field with their tight ends. The Jets have very talented corners, so the best option may be trying to beat their linebackers and safeties (especially because the Jets are missing the quarterback of the defense in S Jim Leonard). Look for Aaron Hernandez (who went for over 100 yards last game against the Jets), Rob Gronkowski, and Alge Crumpler to have a huge impact.

RB Danny Woodhead - I think Woodhead will have a big game against his former teammates. Lining it up and trying to run straight at the Jets defense is tough, so the Patriots will probably spread them out and feature Woodhead a good amount in the passing game. Woodhead averages 5.4 yards per carry and has already racked up 24 receptions for 230 yards in limited playing time.

CB Devin McCourty - McCourty has really come on as of late, bringing in 5 interceptions in the last 6 games and defending 9 passes. McCourty is a very good looking rookie that has started all 11 games and is second on the Pats with 61 tackles, if he continues his great play he should be in the running for defensive rookie of the year.

Key Matchup: Antonio Cromartie vs. Patriots Smaller Receivers - One of the reasons the Jets beat the Patriots in their first match-up was because of Cromartie's dominant play against WR Randy Moss (who did not have a reception when Cromartie was covering him). With Moss now off the team, Cromartie will be matched up against the Patriots' smaller, quicker receivers. Cromartie has been known to lock on to bigger faster receivers and dominate them, but it will be interesting to see if he can dominate tonight.

Why the Patriots Will Win - Tom Brady is playing his best football. Brady has been absolutely dominant in his last 3 games. He looks extremely confident in the offense and reminds me of the Tom Brady from the super bowl winning seasons. He is spreading the ball out to a lot of different players, finding the open guy and protecting the ball (13 touchdowns 0 interceptions last 6 games). I expect Brady to put up great numbers tonight and get his 25th straight win at Foxborough even with the cold, windy conditions.

Prediction: Patriots 34 Jets 17

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