Final five ruminations on Patriots-Jets

Final five ruminations on Patriots-Jets
September 12, 2013, 7:00 pm
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FOXBORO -- Big night for Josh McDaniels. The Patriots are all about finding what their players can do, not what they can’t. Last week, we found out the things players like Kenbrell Thompkins can’t yet do with consistency -- process on the fly the sophisticated adjustments the Patriots rely on. So dumb it down. Run some easy stuff to get players like Thompkins into the flow. Is it ideal? No. And it’s not permanent. But the Bills gave McDaniels a taste of what his young players aren’t ready for. The onus is on him to figure out what they are ready for.
 
* The Patriots ran a number of wide receiver screens last week. They didn’t do much damage with them, in part because they were poorly blocked and the Bills went on attack and beat the blocks. The perimeter and downfield blocking has to be better this week because the Jets are going to force Brady to work outside.
 
* This figures to be a run-heavy game for both teams. With weather coming in -- it’s hazy and threatening skies just before kickoff -- the pressure will be greater on Geno Smith in this to make sure his ballhandling is on point. He comes from a college program that’s shotgun heavy and he took 22 snaps in shotgun last week. Getting the snap will be Job One for Geno, not worrying about what the Patriots have hatched for him.
 
* The Bucs had an eye-popping 13 penalties last week in their loss to the Jets. Including one that extended the Jets game-winning drive. The Patriots benefited from the Bills 10 penalties for 75 yards. Both games, to be plain, were freaking ugly. My suspicion? The sloppy continues tonight.
 
* Beware Kellen Winslow. He had 7 for 79 last week and is probably the Jets best receiving threat. The Patriots need a plan to keep him in check.