With Peyton Manning out for the season with a neck injury, Jets head coach Rex Ryan called the Patriots Tom Brady the best quarterback in the league. But as good as Brady is, he’s still having a down year.
Over the past three games — two of them New England losses — Brady has thrown four interceptions and been sacked eight times.
New York is smelling blood and the target they’re circling is Brady.
“They spread you out; they’re real disciplined,” Jets cornerback Kyle Wilson said. “When a guy’s not doing their job, that’s exactly where they’re going to hit. We got to understand match-ups, because that’s a big aspect of the game for New England.”
There is frustration in Foxboro as they try to pinpoint why Brady is tossing so many more interceptions. Last season, he was picked off just four times. This year, that number is already at 10.
“I think you can look at each play and obviously there’s something that went wrong. A couple balls have been tipped, a couple balls I’m sure he’d like to have back. I’d say for the most part, I think he’s throwing to the right guy,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said.
The Jets made Brady look very ordinary in the divisional playoff game last year, completing 29 of his 45 passes for “just” 299 yards.
Brady was sacked five times in that game, a far cry from his effort in a Week 13 blowout win over the Jets when he completed 74 percent of his passes and had four touchdowns. He was flawless that night, but rather ordinary in the playoffs.
“It really just came down to communication, everybody being on the same page, doing their job. The first time up there, we didn’t play some things — technique — as well as we should have,” Wilson said. “[This time] everybody is going to know where they need to be.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.