Key Matchups

Matt Light and Sebastien Vollmer v Jason Taylor and Calvin Pace
While Jason Taylor does not start for the Jets he will play a lot of snaps in this game as he is the best pass rusher the Jets have. Getting pressure on Tom Brady has not been easy this season and it will be crucial for the Jets if they want to win this game. Taylor will likely look to take advantage of Sebastien Vollmer because Matt Light has been one of the best pass blocking tackles in the league this season. Vollmer has also had a good season and should be able to stand up to Taylor or starter Bryan Thomas. Calvin Pace will go up against Matt Light on the opposite side of the field for the the most part and isn't likely to get much change from the pro bowl talent. Light has dominated better pass rushers than Pace this season(James Harrison and Julius Peppers come to mind) so the Jets will need to try and confuse the seasoned veteran which will not be easy.

Kyle Arrington v Santonio Holmes
Jets' Wide Receiver Santonio Holmes
Arrington is the second best cornerback that the Patriots have but will have to match up to the Jets primary dangerman in Holmes. Arrington does not have the height or range to cover Braylon Edwards and is better suited to picking up Holmes. He should not have any trouble with Holmes strength and will be able to keep up with his agility and quickness out of breaks but Holmes is a proven playoff performer with the knack for producing when his team needs him. Holmes should be able to get the better of Arrington if they are matched up 1-to-1 but I doubt Bill Belichick will allow this to happen.

Nick Mangold v Vince Wilfork
Mangold is the best center in the league. Wilfork may only be second to Haloti Ngata as the best defensive tackle in the league. Mangold's ability to get a push on Wilfork without help will be a huge asset to the running game. He should get help on most plays but there will be times when they are matched up one on one. Mangold should be able to contain Wilfork's pass rush but he is not the Patriot's most potent option in bringing Sanchez to the ground. This matchup is tough to call and don't be surprised if both players make plays at different points of the game.

Antonio Cromartie v Wes Welker
Wes Welker gets to the pylon before Antonio Cromartie
Darelle Revis is likely to take Deion Branch out of the game which means that Cromartie will spend time trailing Welker. This is not a favorable matchup for the often targeted cornerback. It would not be startling to see Cromartie match up against Aaron Hernandez who he matches up perfectly to. Cromartie does not have the agility to stay with the elusive Welker and will be in trouble if they are lined across from each other in space. Expect Welker to put up big numbers if he is 1-on-1 for the whole game.

David Harris v Tom Brady
David Harris is the signal caller for the Jets' defense and his ability to disguise his defense and only show their cards at the last possible moment will inevitably decide this game. Brady studies opposing defenses to an insane degree and holds unbelievable knowledge of what defenses try to do to him on every snap. Harris and his teammates will look to confuse Brady with different looks that they have never used before.

Mark Sanchez v Bill Belichick
This is similar to Harris and Brady's matchup as Bill Belichick will try to use his complex scheme to confuse the young quarterback and cause turnovers. The Patriots secondary had 9 non offensive touchdowns during the regular season with 4 touchdowns coming from 25 interceptions. Belichick is likely to win this matchup as he did earlier in the season when his team held the quarterback to 165 yards and 0 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.

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New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are the favorites for the Superbowl in Dallas this February for good reason. This team hasn't lost at home with Tom Brady at the helm for a very long time and the Jets aren't likely to end that streak this week.

Overall Ratings

New York Jets                                              New England Patriots
222.5/300                                                       234.5/300 

(part 8/8)