Commentary

A few things that jumped out from the Jets-Pats showdown

Scouts Inc. shares its key observations from the Jets-Pats AFC East showdown.

Originally Published: November 14, 2008
By Scouts Inc. | ESPN.com

Sometimes, it just jumps off the screen. Other times, it takes a second or third look. Scouts Inc. watched the AFC East showdown on Thursday night and learned a few things about each team:

Jets 34, Patriots 31
N.Y. Jets
• The Jets' offensive line is finally meshing up front and has become formidable -- but only in the run game. It was apparent that New York didn't trust its pass-blockers to hold up long enough to use many seven-step drops or really stretch the field. Obviously, QB Brett Favre is an accomplished deep passer, but his front line is far better coming off the ball and going forward than retreating in pass protection, and that limits what this passing game can do. This was especially concerning because the Patriots were missing OLB Adalius Thomas and DE Ty Warren.

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New England
• It should come as no surprise that the Patriots' coaching staff made some excellent in-game adjustments to neutralize the Jets' strengths. NT Kris Jenkins was simply dominant in the first half and owned both A-gaps on every snap. So the Patriots went to a no-huddle, hurry-up attack to play catch up, get Jenkins off the field more often and use a quick-hitting passing attack out of three-wide sets. The pass-catcher who benefited most was TE Benjamin Watson, who had a huge game against a Jets' defense that struggles guarding tight ends. QB Matt Cassel keyed on Watson and used him as his safety valve. That role usually goes to WR Wes Welker, but he had a tough time getting away from CB Darrelle Revis. Plus, Randy Moss was consistently covered by two defensive backs. This allowed Watson to abuse the Jets' linebackers, who were unable to keep up with his speed and route-running skills.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.