The Patriots defense might not strike fear in the hearts of their opponents, but they have been very effective at creating turnovers, something that Rob Ninkovich knows is a working formula for this team when backed by a Tom Brady offense, writes Dyer in Metro.
New England isn’t terribly effective at getting to the quarterback, with just 15 sacks this year, but four came in the Jets’ Week 7 loss at New England. The last was a strip-sack and fumble by Sanchez in overtime, recovered by Ninkovich, to end the game.Ball control was a big part of the Jets issues last season, and has been again this year. The Jets defense is pretty good at creating turnovers (5th in the AFC), but if the Jets offense can't capitalize off of them or worse yet, gives the ball (8th in AFC) back too often, then it's all for naught. If the Jets defense can keep doing what they are doing and the offense not set them back ... the Jets would be better off for it.
Ball control is always a big part of the game, but it will be even bigger on Thursday night. The Patriots boast a +20 turnover differential.
This is a formula for success. A great offense coupled with not a great defense (but an opportunistic defense) has worked well for the Patriots this year. The Jets are going to have to not only limit the possessions of the Patriots, but also do their best against this defense that's been so good at turning the ball over.