The Boston Globe reports that there's no worse matchup for Patriots fans come Sunday. The Jets are a division foe while Patriots-Colts is widely regarded as the biggest rivalry in football. However, the story suggests to back the Jets to protect the dynasty the Patriots built. The Team of the Decade status is not as strong if the Colts win another ring.
According to *ESPN's *Len Pasquarelli, the Seattle Seahawks are hiring John Schneider as their new general manager. Patriots senior executive Floyd Reese was in the running for the position as well.
The *Boston Herald *questions the team's defense and breaks it down into categories as compared to the Jets.
For starters, are the Patriots physical enough? The story suggests that while the Jets are a physical force, the Patriots lack a physical unit that "got pushed around in too many games." Also, the "battle in the trenches" never appeared as much as they had hoped.
How about creativity? The Patriots showcased a "5-and-dime" scheme in a Week 15 win over the Bills. That scheme was designed with no linemen to confuse the defense including a lot of movement around the line of scrimmage. How does that compare to the Jets? The story suggests the blitzing schemes the Jets use puts more pressure on the quarterback.
Do the Patriots have any game-changers? NT Vince Wilforktakes this honor because of his ability to plug the middle and limit the run game. S Brandon Meriweather and LB Jerod Mayoalso got consideration, though Meriweather "makes too many mistakes" and Mayo had a stronger rookie season.
A shut-down corner? This is a "tired and old theme" for the Patriots. They had Asante Samuel and Ty Law but did not re-sign them to long-term contracts. The Jets boast perhaps the best cornerback in the game in Derrelle Revis.
ESPN Boston reports that former defensive coordinator Dean Pees played a large role in assisting first-year secondary coach Josh Boyer. "Dean would always be in the room with us, as far as helping to coach the d-backs," said CB Leigh Bodden."I liked him a lot and thought he was a good coach. It's easy to play hard for a guy you like." Pees decided to leave the team when his contract expired after the season.
Who will the Patriots select with the 22nd pick in April's NFL draft? Last week names like S Taylor Mays, DE Brandon Graham, and LB Sergio Kindle appeared. Click here to find out three more names that could land in the 19-25 range.
*ESPN Boston *looks at the offensive line in their "Patriots OT quick hit." One of the biggest surprises was the play of rookie OT Sebastian Vollmer. The 58th overall pick out of Houston started on both sides of the offensive line and was praised for his efforts against Colts DL Dwight Freeney. Click here to read the rest of the offensive line quick hit.