Top storylines in the loss

No-huddle strategy, struggling on special teams two of the keys

September 20, 2009, 8:20 PM

By: Mike Reiss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Following up on a few of the top storylines for the Patriots in their 16-9 loss to the Jets:

  • Wes Welker is inactive; Julian Edelman steps in. Receiver Wes Welker, who has been slowed by a knee injury, did not suit up. Rookie Julian Edelman stepped into his spot and finished with a team-high eight catches for 98 yards. At times, Edelman showed his inexperience, as on one play Randy Moss raced over to him before the snap to ensure he was lined up correctly. Other times, Edelman looked like a seasoned veteran. "He made some nice plays out there," quarterback Tom Brady said.
  • Gary Guyton steps in for the injured Jerod Mayo. Guyton seldom, if ever, came off the field as he was part of every defensive package (base, nickel, dime). He finished with a team-high 10 tackles (7 solo) and was the defensive signal-caller. "I felt comfortable," Guyton said. "I thought it worked pretty well [communication-wise]. We just have to come in and keep on working on what we're doing."
  • Special teams hurt the Patriots. In addition to surrendering Leon Washington's momentum-swinging 43-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter, the Patriots had penalties on special teams (Sam Aiken, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Chris Hanson) that hurt them in the field position game. This was a clear win for the Jets.
  • Trash talk backed up. The Jets were vocal before the game and were asked about their pregame comments after the victory. "We're a football team that should be respected," head coach Rex Ryan said. "Sometimes, you know, we talk a little bit, but only because we have confidence in our football team. We believe it to be true that we're an outstanding football team." Added linebacker Bart Scott: "You might say we talk too much, say that maybe it's time to put up or shut up. I think we showed up like we said."
  • Switching up the offensive communication. All of the Patriots' skill-position players had play sheets on their wrists as they ran the no-huddle throughout the game. On the sideline, receivers coach Chad O'Shea and practice squad quarterback Isaiah Stanback held up boards as a way to communicate to players on the field. Tight end Benjamin Watson couldn't remember the last time the offense did that, but seemed to remember it from earlier in his career. Quarterback Tom Brady didn't think the offense's struggles were a result of the communication, but more execution.


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