Jets have third-down advantage

Updated: September 7, 2007, 4:59 PM ET
By Keith Kidd
After looking deeper into the New England Patriots and the New York Jets game on Sunday, I noticed that one of the more interesting aspects will be how each team handles third-down personnel groupings. This is an aspect where the Jets actually have a slight edge.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wrote the book on situational football as far as creating individual mismatches against the various personnel groupings used in multiple spread-offensive formations, but Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer did a great job last season of using a short, controlled passing attack to set up the run. The run wasn't very effective last year, but the addition of RB Thomas Jones during the offseason should help New York run the ball against the Patriots and give the Jets more balance on offense.

Laveranues Coles
Thomas Jones
The key for the Patriots will be how they matchup on the perimeter in their sub-defensive packages on third down, because the Jets can cause a lot of problems for New England on the back end with their multiple-spread packages. And it doesn't help that New England will be without SS Rodney Harrison. Even though Harrison has lost a step in coverage his experience making communication calls is critical and his absence will hinder this secondary when it comes to proper calls and adjustments.