The hype leading up to Sunday’s Jets-Patriots matchup will soon be over and will allow one team to either continue talking (ahem, Rex Ryan), or continue playing. Intriguing matchups to watch for during this game come straight from the line of scrimmage. Three-hundred-twenty-five-pound Patriot defensive lineman Vince Wilfork will line up against Jets lineman Nick Mangold, while the other side of the ball hosts a faceoff between perennial pro-bowlers Jason Taylor of the Jets and Patriot lineman Matt Light. The outcome of these matchups will significantly affect each team’s offensive strategy, and the final score of the game.
After a 45-3 decimation of the Jets earlier this season, New England will continue to rely on its offensive line to protect Brady in the pocket, who hasn’t had a turnover in the past 11 games and has led New England to score at least 31 points per game since Nov. 7.
The Jets’ defense will need to increase its output from the game against the Colts, in which New York safety Eric Smith led the team with 10 tackles. It’s important to remember that though New England smashed the Jets by 42 points in their last meeting, New York did beat the Patriots in the first matchup for these two teams earlier this year.
As Jets coach Rex Ryan said, maybe Tom Brady doesn’t “study” as much as Peyton Manning. But the fact remains: His name isn’t Peyton, it’s Tom. And he won’t be losing to the New York Jets.
Prediction: Patriots over Jets, 24-20