New York Jets: Analyzing the Patriots’ Week 7 Opponent

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Oct 18, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) celebrates in front of wide receiver Eric Decker (87) after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Marshall, Wide Receiver

Remember how at the beginning of all this, Braylon Edwards was the butt of a joke about the state of Jets receivers lately? The guy never logged a 1,000 yard season in New York, and was probably more famous for his lousy driving than anything towards the end of his first run with New York. 

Last year’s signing of Eric Decker was certainly a marked improvement – more on Decker in a second – but the Jets still ranked 32nd in passing yards and scored a wretched 16 passing touchdowns (30th in the NFL) in 2014.

So what did they do?

They went shopping.  And while the Jets were shopping, they found the NFL’s proverbial Shelby Cobra sitting in a barn.

Want proof?  Grantland did a wonderful write-up last week on Brandon Marshall somehow never getting the love that receivers of his caliber should, and the company it puts him in is stunning.  Since 2007 (Marshall’s second NFL season, and first as a full-time starter in Denver), Brandon Marshall is:

-First overall in targets;

-Second overall in receptions;

-Second overall in receiving yards;

-Fourth overall in receiving touchdowns;

Want more?  Marshall has also had five seasons with 100 catches or more, which is tied for the most in NFL history, and before suffering two broken ribs and a collapsed lung in 2014, had a streak of seven straight 1,000 yard seasons.

And the Bears were willing to trade him this spring for a fifth-round pick, while throwing in a seventh-round pick of their own to sweeten the deal.  This is why nobody should ever, ever, ever feel bad for the Chicago Bears.

Who Can Stop Him?

The Colts sure as hell can’t, that’s for sure.

Hee hee.

After the catch, Brandon Marshall is, for my money, the most physical receiver in football.  Which, given New England’s youth and size in the secondary this year, seems to point mostly to the safeties as the guys that’ll make the difference in whether Marshall lays waste to the Patriots this weekend or not.

Marshall’s going to get his, but that doesn’t mean New England has to roll over after the catch like Indy did in that clip earlier. 

Even though everyone’s still shivering from thinking of watching Malcolm Butler against Antonio Brown and the Steelers in Week 1, it’d make the most sense to put him on Brandon Marshall and then keep a couple safeties deep, like they’ve been doing with Duron Harmon lately, who finally seems to be playing like the guy New England drafted him to be.

If Bill Belichick wants to take away the opponent’s best chess piece, per usual, this is the matchup that needs to be won.

Next: Next Up: Who Does Number Two Work For?