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NFL Playoffs, Jetcs Vs. Patriots: New England Aims To Keep New York Grounded

In Mark Sanchez's two visits to Gillette Stadium, he has proven that he's not able to beat the Patriots in Foxboro (0-2), where they have once again established themselves as an elite team after last year's wild-card round drubbing at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. So if the Jets are going to beat the Patriots this weekend, they'll need to do it with a heavy dose of LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. 

The Jets have faired well running the ball against Bill Belichick's defenses since Rex Ryan took the helm - in their four games against each other since, New York has put up triple-digit running yards without much trouble. 

The difference between the four games has (sort of unbelievably) been Sanchez. At home against the Pats, he's great. On the road, he's terrible. It has actually been that simple.

Now that the Jets - we imagine - are done running their mouths and we can actually focus on the game, Pats Pulpit has some insight as to how the defense might stop both Sanchez AND the ground game: 

Projected Defensive Line-up:

 

ROLB: Eric Moore
DT: Gerard Warren
NT: Vince Wilfork
LOLB: Jermaine Cunningham
RLB: Jerod Mayo
LLB - Gary Guyton
RCB - Kyle Arrington
NCB - Pat Chung (to keep him closer to the box)
S - James Sanders (or Jarrad Page to watch Dustin Keller)
S - Brandon Meriweather
LCB - Devin McCourty

This would be the optimum front four in terms of generating pressure on Sanchez and stopping the run. This would also be the best chance for the Patriots to take away the Jets passing game. Don't be surprised if the Patriots stay in this formation for most of the game because this is their typical "sub-defense" that they use for 50% of their defensive snaps.

If it works, expect an end result similar to Week 13. If it doesn't, expect an end result similar to Week 2.