Emerg­ing Jets fo­cused on slow­ing down Brady

New York aware Brady tak­ing more hits this sea­son with­out Edel­man in lineup

Woonsocket Call - - Sports - By DEN­NIS WASZAK Jr. As­so­ci­ated Press

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Leonard Wil­liams and the rest of the New York Jets' de­fense have stud­ied the film and know ex­actly what they need to do against Tom Brady.

Get pres­sure on the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back. Sack him. Force him into rush­ing throws.

"We have no­ticed that Tom Brady holds onto the ball a lit­tle bit longer than he usu­ally does," de­fen­sive end Leonard Wil­liams said Thurs­day.

"They've given up more sacks at the start of the sea­son than they did all of last sea­son, so for us, that's def­i­nitely giv­ing us some­thing to look for­ward to, get­ting af­ter the quar­ter­back."

Wil­liams is right about the sacks to­tal. Brady has gone down 16 times af­ter be­ing sacked just 15 times in 12 reg­u­lar-sea­son games last sea­son.

"I think ev­ery­body in this league knows what they've got to do to beat Brady," de­fen­sive end Muham­mad Wilk­er­son said. "You know, he's been beaten, so I'm sure pretty much ev­ery­body has watched the film of guys and what they do good against him."

The Pa­tri­ots' star has also been a bit banged up, sit­ting out two prac­tices with a sore left shoul­der be­fore re­turn­ing Thurs­day on a lim­ited ba­sis.

"We know that he's the head of the of­fense," Wil­liams said. "So, if we can get to him and af­fect him as much as pos­si­ble, we can af­fect the game."

It cer­tainly sounds sim­ple enough. But Brady re­mains one of the most pro­lific quar­ter­backs in the NFL — de­spite those high sack num­bers.

Through five games, Brady leads the NFL with 1,702 yards pass­ing and ranks sec­ond with a 112.0 passer rat­ing. He has thrown for 300 or more yards in four straight games and the Pa­tri­ots' of­fense still ranks No. 1 in to­tal yards and pass­ing yards. New Eng­land will cer­tainly pose per­haps the tough­est test for New York's de­fense.

"So far this year, it's not even close," de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Kacy Rodgers said. "There's so many problems (to de­fend).

And for all the talk about sacks, the Jets don't get them of­ten. They have seven, which is the sec­ond-low­est to­tal in the NFL — with only Tampa Bay hav­ing fewer, with four.

Wil­liams and Wilk­er­son are still look­ing for their first sacks of the sea­son. Wilk­er­son is deal­ing with a sprained shoul­der and a toe ail­ment, and has just one quar­ter­back pres­sure all sea­son.

"At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure you can ask any de­fen­sive player, when they talk about sacks, they come in bunches," Wilk­er­son said. "We haven't been re­ally get­ting too many, but it's a long sea­son. We're not wor­ried about that."

Wil­liams, who had seven sacks last sea­son, has a team­lead­ing six quar­ter­back hur­ries — but is still wait­ing for that first sack.

"It would feel great," Wil­liams said of po­ten­tially break­ing through on Sun­day. "Also, help­ing out the team in this big game, it's a di­vi­sion game, so we need it, and we're back home again, so it would feel great to get my first sack of the sea­son on Tom Brady."

Of the Jets' sacks, not one has come from a de­fen­sive line­man. Line­backer David Bass has two, fol­lowed by fel­low line­backer De­mario Davis (1½). Safety Ja­mal Adams, line­backer Dar­ron Lee and cor­ner­back Buster Skrine each have one, with line­backer Josh Martin adding a half-sack.

"We know he gets the ball out fast," Lee said of Brady, "but if we can make him sec­ond-guess or some­thing and get that pres­sure there, that would be a huge plus for us."

Stop­ping the Pa­tri­ots' run game will also play a cru­cial part in any po­ten­tial suc­cess on de­fense by the Jets. New York has strug­gled against the run this sea­son, rank­ing 30th in the NFL in that cat­e­gory.

"The more we let them run, the more Tom Brady is go­ing to be able to stand back there when it's time to pass," Wil­liams said. "We have to make them one-di­men­sional and make them pass."

New York has al­lowed just four touch­downs in its past three games and ap­pears to be play­ing bet­ter lately — and looser. Just in time for Brady and Co.

"The con­fi­dence is there. The swag­ger is there," Wil­liams said. "I think that's what I like most, that swag­ger. When the de­fense is out there, we're jump­ing around with each other, we're hav­ing fun and we're play­ing fast. That's what you need as a de­fense."

NOTES: RB Matt Forte (knee, toe) and DE Kony Ealy (shoul­der) were lim­ited at prac­tice, while Wilk­er­son (shoul­der, toe) and RB Bi­lal Pow­ell (strained calf) re­mained side­lined. Forte said "I want to" play Sun­day, but he could still be a game-time de­ci­sion. Pow­ell ap­pears un­likely to play. ... Adams was asked to as­sess his play against Cleve­land last Sun­day and was bru­tally hon­est. "Be­low an F," Adams said. The first-rounder has had a solid start to his NFL ca­reer, but gave up a long touch­down in the win over the Browns. ... The Jets' fa­cil­ity was with­out power for a few hours. The team prac­ticed out­doors through it — mi­nus the elec­tric score­boards — and was mostly un­af­fected. "We have a gen­er­a­tor, so we were pretty good and we were go­ing out­side when it hap­pened," coach Todd Bowles said.

File photo by Louri­ann Mardo-Zayat / lmzart­works.com

Tom Brady has al­ready been sacked 16 times in five games af­ter suf­fer­ing just 15 sacks in 12 games last sea­son.

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