by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff
September 20, 2009

Final thoughts as we prepare for another epic Border War battle:

  • I was thinking this morning that I always get a knot in my stomach when it comes to this game, the Patriots’ annual visit to the Jets. The particular circumstances change by the year, but the feeling is always the same. It’s sort of “God, please don’t let them lose to these guys,” mixed with “the Patriots are 8-1 at the Meadowlands since the 2000 season.”
  • I bet they have an equally favorable record in games played when the opponent has spent the preceding few days making all kinds of wild promises.
  • That said, you have to respect what the Jets did last weekend. Not just the 24-7 opening day beatdown of the Texans on their home field, but all the preparation that went into it. They proved to be focused and ready to execute – which is important as we wondered about their discipline under the freewheeelin’ Rex Ryan.
  • Last week I poo-pooed the pass and lobbied once again for the ground attack. The Patriots ended up throwing something like 87 times. At one point in the third quarter, all the running backs quit the team. Anyway, we now know that Bill Belichick isn’t checking PD right before kickoff.
  • So it’s funny that this week I’m hoping they once again throw the ball all over the lot. New York’s front seven was disruptive as hell last weekend, and the Pats’ best response to the pressure may be their quick perimeter passes. It’s like a running play!
  • Check that – the inactives are out and Wes Welker will not play today. This has not been the healthiest of starts for Welker, who was in and out for all of training camp and the pre-season. I think the Pats have a great coaching staff, but if this critical piece of their offense is going to struggle to stay on the field this year, they’ll have to be better than great to overcome it.
  • It seems to me that after Tom Brady, Gary Guyton is the most important player on the field for New England today.
  • Of course, I thought the Pats would grind it out last Monday. FWIW.

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