People used to just think of Julian Edelman as a poor man's Wes Welker. That could not be further from the truth. Edelman is better than Welker ever was, and can do damage on the outside and in the slot. His route running is amazing and he has great hands. In 5 games this season, Edelman has 40 catches and 4 touchdowns. The 5'10 receiver has always given the Jets a hard time, who should they put on him? I think there is only one guy who should be guarding Edelman at all. His name is Darrelle Revis. Darrelle Revis is the best corner in the NFL and has played like it this season. He already has 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries. Here are how the top receivers Revis has faced have fared:
Week 2 at Indianapolis, TY Hilton: 4 catches, 45 yards, 0 touchdowns
Week 3 vs. Philadelphia, Jordan Matthews: 6 catches, 49 yards, 0 touchdowns
Week 4 at Miami, Jarvis Landry: 4 catches, 40 yards, 0 touchdowns
Week 6 vs. Washington, Pierre Garcon: 5 catches, 28 yards, 1 touchdown
Clearly, Revis can matchup with anyone and take them out of a game. I do not want to hear that Revis can't matchup with a small, speedy guy like Edelman. He has shutdown TY Hilton and Jarvis Landry already, who have similar builds. With Buster Skrine potentially being out, Revis needs to shadow Edelman for the entire afternoon.
The Jets also have to come up with a game plan for defending Rob Gronkowski, the best tight end in the NFL. Gronkowski is a touchdown machine, with 5 on the board already this season. At 6'6, 245, and with speed, it is almost impossible for one person to take Gronk out of a game. The Jets have done a good job in the past matching up with Gronk, by putting Antonio Allen on him. However, Allen is on IR. My solution is Antonio Cromartie. I know the Jets have never really done that in the past, but I think Cromartie is the best bet. At 6'2, 202, Cromartie has the best size and speed combination to stay with Gronkowski. Antonio Allen is listed as 6'2, 202 as well. Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pyror are both under 6' and it would not turn out well. Buster Skrine is too small, and linebackers are too slow.
I think if the Jets want to beat the Patriots, they need to stick Darrelle Revis on Julian Edelman and Antonio Cromartie on Rob Gronkowski. Let the four defensive lineman (Williams, Richardson, Wilkerson, Harrison) rush the passer and play a lot of nickel. Things will not turn out well for the Jets if they stick an injured Buster Skrine on Edelman or a linebacker on Rob Gronkowski.