You know, the Jets could be 1-3. If not for a blocked punt and some fortunate bounces in the opener against Dallas, the Jets (who are actually 2-2) would only be able to boast of a home win against the lowly Jaguars. But luck is the residue of design, and the Jets have enough problems that they can't worry about imaginary ones. In last week's 34-17 loss to the Ravens, the Jets would have been better off punting each time. Mark Sanchez fumbled three times and threw another interception. After a promising start, the quarterback undid much of his progress.
But it wasn't all his fault. The line, missing center Nick Mangold for the second straight week, looked atrocious. Sanchez had hardly any time to do anything. This week, coach Rex Ryan said he will return to the "ground and pound" offense. Their running game, thanks to some shaky play by Shonn Greene behind the offensive line, has been a shadow of its former self. But the Jets say they will emphasize it against the Patriots.
The Jets took two of three games against their bitter rivals last season, winning the rubber game in the playoffs, 28-21, to avenge a 45-3 thrashing in December. The Patriots' offense is out of this world, but their defense is mortal. Then again, how many good defenses are there in today's NFL? If the Jets want to win, they'll have to score points and keep Tom Brady off the field. They'll also have to slow down Brady, which they did in the playoffs by having a ton of defensive backs on the field at all times. The Patriots are at home, where they rarely lose in the regular season. (Brady hasn't lost a regular-season game at home since 2006 -- against the Jets.) That streak, which loses its luster with the Patriots' two playoff losses, will be tough to end Sunday.