Everyone will be focusing on the matchup between Darrelle Revis and Randy Moss this Sunday, but there are other wide receiver/cornerback matchups that could be just as important in deciding the winner of this contest.
Let's start with New England's wideouts. New York is going to have to find a way to slow down Julian Edelman and Wes Welker, the Patriots' possession receivers. Those two combined for 26 receptions and 316 receiving yards in the two Jets-Patriots contests last year.
That task will fall to the combination of Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. Given that those two allowed 11 completions/penalties in 18 passes for 189 yards against Baltimore, New York will need them to step up their game up to slow down Welker and Edelman.
Now let's look at the Jets' wideouts. The first lineup matchup has Jerricho Cotchery, New York's split end, facing off against rookie right cornerback Devin McCourty. McCourty held his own last week against the Bengals, giving up only 45 yards on seven pass attempts (6.4 YPA), so this matchup may not hold as much upside as might be anticipated.
Where New York could hit the jackpot is the Braylon Edwards/Darius Butler matchup. Butler actually had solid metrics in 2009, but against Cincinnati he had a terrible day. He had 11 passes thrown his way and allowed nine completions for 123 yards and a touchdown. That equates to a 11.2 YPA, which is ironically the same YPA Baltimore cornerback Fabian Washington gave up in 2009. The Jets only targeted Washington a single time in the Monday night game, and it was part of the reason their passing game didn't work.
If they change their game plan this week and target Butler often with the most explosive receiver in the Jets lineup, it should pay big dividends that could offset the production levels of the Patriots wideouts.