The Jets defense may not be quite as good as the hype but Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still sees a lot of potential for headaches on Thursday night.
The Jets are ranked No. 15 in passing defense, but are nevertheless a cause for concern. Brady combined to complete just 41-of-85 passes for 413 yards with one touchdown and one interception last year against the Jets. To underscore how atypical those two games were, Brady threw for more yards in two individual games last season.
“[Rex Ryan] tests every part of your game,” Brady said Tuesday. “I do have a lot of respect for that from a coaching standpoint. He challenges you. When he feels like he’s got you on something, he sticks with it. We’ve had our fair share of good games. He’s had his fair share of good games. That’s what makes for a great matchup. They’re a great rivalry. We’ve had a lot of meaningful games with them. Ever since I got here, it’s always been fun playing the Jets. This week will be no different.”
The Jets will try to throw multiple looks at Brady, but they’ve found most of their success when they can rush three defensive lineman and drop eight players into coverage.
Brady is 7-3 in the regular season against the Jets since Ryan took over as head coach. The Jets beat the Patriots in the 2010 AFC Divisional round of the playoffs in a game where Brady was consistently under pressure in the pocket.
So far this year, the Jets are No. 6 in total defense. On Sunday, they held future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning to 237 passing yards, his lowest total since Nov. 24, 2013. The Jets did a number of things to try to confuse Manning, including lining up edge rushers such as Calvin Pace and Quinton Couples in coverage on wide receivers.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.