Every week leading up to the Patriots' next game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss dissect the matchup in "Bruschi's Breakdown." This week's breakdown is now posted, and Bruschi focuses on run defense as a key.
"Last week, you go up against a Buffalo Bills offense that spreads it out with four-wides and five-wides. Now this week, you’re looking at a power running team, and that’s who they want to be," he says. "It sets up with Darren McFadden. I think we all respect the New York Jets as a defensive football team, but they gave up 234 rushing yards to the Raiders on Sunday. That’s impressive. McFadden is one of the best in the game – he can hit it inside between the tackles, he can take it outside. They run the toss. They run the zone scheme, one cut and take it downhill. They’re going to come at you and run the ball."
Stopping the run would put the ball in the hands of quarterback Jason Campbell.
"He’s completing just shy of 66 percent of his passes, and they’ve done a great job protecting him," Bruschi says. "They’ve only allowed two sacks all year and that helps, because when you get pressure on Campbell, that’s when he’s shown vulnerability to fall apart. When he can rely on that run game, which sets up the play-action pass, that’s been huge."
Bruschi sees a prescription for trouble for the Patriots, as the Raiders' defensive line could generate pressure with the standard four rushers. That's traditionally been something that has given the Patriots problems.