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3 Reasons why the Jets can hang with the Pats

Rex Ryan carries confidence into next week’s divisional showdown.<br />

1 Every team has one stinker to forget

Week 13’s 45-3 pounding on Monday Night Football was one of those games where everything that could go wrong did for the Jets. Quarterback Mark Sanchez had three interceptions and posted a pedestrian 27.8 quarterback rating against then the NFL’s second-worst passing defense.

The ground game was effective but rarely got pounding with a 24-3 halftime deficit spelling the need for the passing attack to quick score points, which never came. And the Jets had no answer for a Patriots offense that clicked nearly every time on the field, with Tom Brady throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns in his most complete performance of the season. Things can’t go that badly again, right?

2 Sanchez is sizzling again

The last New England game came in the middle of a three-game span where Sanchez threw six interceptions and was sacked nine times, not numbers conducive to win on the road against one of the league’s top teams.

But in the Chicago game in Week 16 and then in the second half of Saturday night’s win over the Colts, Sanchez has rebounded to show his early season form, slinging the ball with confidence. Behind a resurgent rushing attack, Sanchez could be poised for a better Foxborough performance this time around, reminiscent of his Week 2 win at the New Meadowlands when he threw for 220 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-14 win.

3 Brady won’t have all day to throw

In Indianapolis, the Jets made the best quarterback of his generation look average at best, confusing Peyton Manning with their multiple fronts and getting above average pressure from their front.

A major reason for the Week 13 loss at New England was the time Brady had in the pocket, allowing him to run his fingers through his Justin Bieber locks, order a pair of Uggs on his BlackBerry and then pick apart the Jets secondary. The Colts were limited to 312 yards of total offense but the most telling stat was their time of possession, with the Indy offense on the field for just 26:53 — including less than 10 minutes in the second half.

 
 
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