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Patriots-Jets matchup of the day: Friday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:35 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a key matchup to watch in the Week 10 game between the Patriots and Jets:

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. Jets CB Darrelle Revis

You can't talk about this game without talking about the best corner in the game against a receiver on pace for record numbers this season.

Revis, who is making a strong case for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is allowing a 12.1 passer rating to quarterbacks who throw in his direction, according to Pro Football Focus. Not only has he kept opposing QBs from completing passes, he's making plays, from deflecting passes to picking them off. He is second in the league with 16 passes defensed and four interceptions.

Welker stepped up late against the Giants after two average games, and finished with nine catches for 136 yards. Welker has 960 receiving yards this season, 124 of those coming in the Week Five win over Revis and the Jets. He had a big 73-yard catch in that game. Revis was on Welker but it appeared S Eric Smith was supposed to help over the top. Smith cheated toward the run and Welker took off. Revis had to chase him down to save a touchdown.

Revis' physicality gives him the edge in the matchup, as he is able to knock Welker off his route with jams at the line. By taking Welker out of a play from the start, Revis forces Tom Brady to go to his second and third options. Look for the Patriots to move Welker around pre-snap, and if Revis ever moves to Deion Branch, Brady likely will take advantage and target Welker.

The key for Brady is to keep Revis from making a game-changing interception. Brady won't challenge Revis often, but he has to be careful against the league's top corner.

Branch, Chad Ochocinco and TEs Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will need to step up if Welker is taken out of the Pats' game plan. The Patriots, though, are still better off if Welker can make some plays.

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