Rex Ryan, Mike Pettine and the defensive staff devised a genius game plan that befuddled Tom Brady & Co. last January in the AFC divisional playoffs, a 28-21 Jets victory. It'll be interesting to see if they go back to that plan Sunday or change it up. Chances are, it'll be a combo platter, as Ryan likes to say.
Here's a quick refresher on what they did last Jan. 16, with stats compiled by ESPN's K.C. Joyner:
• CB Darrelle Revis was assigned to Deion Branch most of the game. Branch, one of the Patriots' outside receivers, was on the field for 48 pass plays -- and he was covered by Revis on 33 of them. He also was on Branch for 19 of 25 running plays.
Predictably, Brady stayed away from Revis, targeting Branch only five times. He caught one ball for eight yards.
• Nickel back Drew Coleman covered slot receiver Wes Welker a good chunk of the time. In fact, he was on Welker for 18 of 24, non-zone passing plays, according to Joyner's film review. It worked, as Welker was held to three catches for 23 yards.
• The Jets packed the middle of the field in zone situations, often dropping seven into coverage and leaving Revis and CB Antonio Cromartie alone on the outside. It was a coverage-based plan that absolutely confused Brady, who looked lost and was sacked five times.
Potential problems for Sunday's game: Welker is playing the best football of his career, and the Jets don't have Coleman anymore. They've been using Kyle Wilson on slot receivers, but he might not be ready for Welker. They could try Donald Strickland or they could try Revis, who ordinarily doesn't cover slot receivers. On a conference call with the Boston media, Ryan refused to divulge his plans for Revis.