Patriots look to establish 'D' vs. Jets ground attack


Patriots look to establish 'D' vs. Jets ground attack

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn
FOXBORO After a humbling 34-17 beatdown at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the usually boisterous New York Jets coach Rex Ryan proclaimed that changes would be made heading into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

The Jets would return to their ground-and-pound, rushing attack ways.

Regardless of the loss suffered by the Jets, New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork wouldn't expect the Jets to play the Pats any other way.

"One thing we're not doing is looking at the games and saying, 'They're gonna do this. They're gonna do that.' We know the Jets better than that," Wilfork said. "They're going to come out and try and establish the running game."

Against the Patriots, can you blame them?

New England is giving up a league-high 477.5 yards per game.

And the Pats run defense, ranked 18th in the NFL, is giving up 108.8 yards this season.

But the Jets surprisingly have been among the NFL's worst rushing teams this season.

Their 71 yards rushing per game ranks 30th (out of 32 teams) this season, a far cry from Rex Ryan's first two Jets teams which ranked first and fourth in the NFL in rushing in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

That's what makes Sunday's game so intriguing for both teams.

New York is trying to get its ground attack off and running, while the Patriots are still trying to figure out how to become an effective team defensively.

"Inconsistency at times, has cost us," Wilfork said. "A handful of plays in each game really cost this defense from being a pretty good defense. We understand that. We have to keep striving for it, keep moving forward and keep getting better."

And like success, struggles can't be pinned on one player or unit.

The defensive line and linebackers aren't getting nearly enough pressure on quarterbacks, which makes the job of the defensive backs a lot tougher.

And when the pressure is there, the defensive backs aren't doing their part to make plays.

"They do what they do," Ryan said of the Patriots defense. "They force take-aways. They never ranked way up there (defensively); it's not like they're one or two in the league in defense. They're effective. They make you make mistakes. They do a great job playing the run, and they don't have the ball shot over their heads."

Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots defense has finished among the NFL's top-10 five times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008), but no higher than fourth which came in 2007 when the Pats went undefeated in the regular season before losing in Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants.

"We still have work to do," Wilfork said. "We've done things well; we've done some things not so well. What we've done well, we have to continue to get better. The things that we have to get better at, we have to do a good job of going out and correcting them."

That mentality should serve the Patriots well this week against a Jets team that hasn't played up to their Super Bowl-or-bust mentality.

"We'll get their best shot," Wilfork said. "The same guys over there, the same guys that played us last year. The same guys that beat us three of the five times we played them. This (Jets) team is definitely a good football team. Let's not get that wrong."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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Darrelle Revis has court date Thursday on fight claims

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New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has a court date next week on criminal charges stemming from a fight after he turned himself in to police and was later released on a non-monetary bond.

Revis faces aggravated assault and other charges alleging he was in a fight with two men last weekend in Pittsburgh. He answered no questions from the media as he turned himself in Friday. He later made an initial court appearance, and his next court date was scheduled for Thursday.

Revis' attorney has said Revis was physically assaulted by a group of at least five people. He said Revis "feared for his safety" and sought medical attention, but he didn't offer details about the severity of Revis' injuries.

Police say the fight started when a man began recording a video of Revis and Revis grabbed his phone and tried to delete it. Two men say they were punched and knocked out.

The New York Jets said through a spokesman they would have no further comment on Revis' situation other than their initial statement that they were aware of the matter and had spoken with Revis. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to The Associated Press that the league was looking into the matter.

Attorney Blaine Jones said Saturday in a text message that while he was hired for the pre-indictment phase of the case, he would not be representing the Jets cornerback going forward.

Revis is due $15 million next season, including a $2 million roster bonus due on the second day of the new league year, March 10.

The $13 million in base salary includes $6 million in guaranteed money, which the Jets would owe him even if they decided to cut him before the deadline.

Revis had a bitter breakup with his agents last year and has no formal representation going forward.

Revis, who is from Aliquippa, was a star at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted No. 14 overall by the Jets in 2007. He quickly established himself as one of the top players at his position - and in franchise history - while also earning the nickname, "Revis Island" for his penchant for routinely shutting down opposing teams' top receivers. He is in his second stint with the Jets.


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