by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

the-sopranosAfter a Colts game with an outcome only slightly less bewildering than The Sopranos, New England looks ahead to its second round of division contests. They must win Sunday to gain more distance from the 4-5 Jets.

The Jerseyites come to town as a decidedly different bunch from the ones who humiliated the Pats during the second game of the season. Put in simple terms, New England now has Wes Welker; New York now misses defensive tackle/brick wall Kris Jenkins.

While that’s a comfort, we still have plenty of worries…

All Quiet On The Lessened Front: Not a lot of talk coming out of New York these days. Could be due to the Jets’ 1-5 stall after a 3-0 start. Could be because they’re actually focusing on winning the game on the field and not in the media. If that proves true, it scares me. They called Game Two their Super Bowl (according to Jenkins); what the heck is Game Ten supposed to be?

Hocus Focus: Can New England recover from last week’s mind-numbing meltdown? Will New York have some trickery up its sleeve to combat their recent offensive doldrums? Probably a yes on both counts. While the Pats will work on getting back to basics, watch out for the Jets pulling out all the tricks in an attempt to get back to .500.

Pressure Drop: The tune is upbeat (whether you like the Clash’s version or Toots and the Maytals’), yet it describes the faults of New England’s pass rush. Can Tully Banta-Cain come back from last week’s injury (he didn’t practice as of Thursday)? Can anyone rush the QB in a one-on-one blocking situation?

I’ll ask this question again: what the heck happened to linebacker Adalius Thomas? Didn’t he used to rush the passer?

In Like A Line, Out Like A Lamb: Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork got double-teamed repeatedly against the Colts, which – as a man only slightly smaller than a phone booth –  is part of his job description. When that happens, his teammates need to win individual battles, especially if Ty Warren and Jarvis Green have to sit again. Jets fans would enjoy nothing more than watching their team run the football.

Well, boobs. They might enjoy watching boobs a little more.

(What, I’m supposed to let that flashing-in-the-Meadowlands thing go? It’s gold!)

Speaking of boobs running the ball…

The Lore Of Laurence: This topic has caused a rift that would make East Africa jealous. Suffice to say that Laurence Maroney, the number-one draft pick now in his fourth year, has yet to produce at a level of consistency where blah blah blah – I quit. I’m done.

LoMo, have a great game this week. Or don’t. I don’t even care any more.

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