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Patriots-Jets matchup of the day: Saturday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Nov. 12, 2011 @ 6:09 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

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

Jets' pass rush vs. Patriots QB Tom Brady

Brady has been a bit off in the last few games after he started the season looking like an MVP candidate. He completed just 57.1 percent of his passes in last Sunday's loss to the Giants and has thrown 10 interceptions this season.

One way teams are rattling Brady is via the pass rush, as his O-line play has been a bit shaky. After allowing just four sacks in the first four games, the Patriots have allowed Brady to hit the turf 12 times in the last four games (Patriots are 2-2 in that stretch).

The Jets have 18 sacks this season, tied for 19th in the league, but they got Brady down four times in a Week Five loss to New England. Former Bills OLB Aaron Maybin has three sacks this season, rejuvenating his career with the Gang Green. Calvin Pace and Jamaal Westerman are the Jets' other pass rushers.

You won't see too many blitzes from the Jets, as they know that Brady can pick apart a secondary if there are seven or eight guys in the box. The way the Steelers and Giants rattled Brady was getting penetration up the middle.

The Patriots' O-line also has to avoid getting penalized and putting the offense in 3rd-and-long situations against one of the better pass defenses in the league. The Patriots' O-line has been penalized 16 times for 125 yards this season, led by OLG Logan Mankins (five penalties).

If Brady can get time, that gives his receivers more time to get some space against the Jets' corners, which puts the offense in more of a rhythm.

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