JACKSONVILLE, FL – All the rage in New England is will the Patriots pull off what they couldn’t in 2007?
Whispers of another undefeated season could be a possibility. With major injuries affecting the Cowboys, the horrendous play from both the Eagles and Colts there are no real obstacles in sight. Brady is 20-6 against the Jets with a 61.77% completion percentage, so while the Jets seem to be trending this shouldn’t be a realistic road block this season. However, as coach Bill Belichick always says let’s’ focus on the task at hand, here are three MUSTs or BUSTs the Patriots have to do to come out with a win.
1) Preparation is a MUST this week, the Patriots have only played the Jaguars a whopping four times in the regular season. So experience and familiarities with this team are almost non existent. With new faces (seemingly every season) in Jacksonville making sure that preparation for Sunday’s matchup is vital and while prep work is always the key to a successful game, when you only see your opponent every three years dating back to 2003 the unfamiliarity can be scary.
2) While people were critical of the Patriots continued attempts to go for it on fourth downs last weekend against the Bills, I say the Patriots MUST continue that trend. New England who is prolific in keeping the pedal to the metal should not shy away from this trend, while this should be a skate in the park, just as the Patriots haven’t seen the Jaguars often the same goes for Jacksonville.
Hitting them with an abrasive offensive attack should prove to be too much for the young Jaguars squad. Since 2002 the Patriots have 59.6% success rate on fourth down attempts, lets call that 60%. Yes, they are good at putting the foot to an opponent’s neck.
3) New England’s front seven MUST use this Sundays game as a means to show everyone they can stop a running back. Through the first two games of the 2015 season the Patriots run defense is allowing on average 147.0 rushing yards per game, that ranks them 28th in the NFL in run defense.
Rookie running back T.J. Yeldon who has 121 rushing yards on the young season already is a fast and agile back who can and will attempt to make New England run defense look silly, a David versus Goliath already looms upon this game with the Patriots being a two touchdown favorite in Vegas. Yeldon will be a great test for the front seven.
While this game on paper looks like a walk through the park, the Patriots have allowed teams to run and throw the ball at will early on this season. Jaguars wide out Allen Robinson has already proven once this year that he can be a true presence in a game, already racking up 182 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. If the Patriots want a win on Sunday they will follow these three MUSTs or it will undoubtedly be a BUST.
Steven Michelson is the New England Patriots Beat Writer for The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, please follow him on Twitter at @SLMinscribermag