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When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

TV, radio: CBS, WBZ-FM (98.5)

When the Jets run

Chris Ivory is a well-built downhill runner who keeps his muscular legs churning and rarely gets knocked down on first contact. Ivory (6 feet, 222 pounds) runs with good pad level and will drive his shoulders into defenders with force. He has decent explosiveness and acceleration but is by no means a burner. Ivory is a streaky runner, and if he finds his groove early, he starts to feel it and can wear a defense down. Conversely, if he gets stymied on his first few carries, he has trouble getting on track. Bilal Powell (5-10, 204) has good burst to the perimeter and can turn the corner. He builds speed quickly and can weave his way through traffic. Powell lacks power and is more effective in space than between the tackles. He won't break a ton of tackles but has a little wiggle. Stevan Ridley is an energetic runner who can slip through creases. However, he's coming off knee surgery and is buried on this depth chart. The key to this attack is center Nick Mangold. An ornery, 6-4, 307-pound behemoth, Mangold is powerful, smart, and athletic. He has quickness off the snap, packs a stunning wallop, and will drive to the second level. Guards James Carpenter (he's strong but sluggish) and Brian Winters (he has strong hands) will create space. The interior three will have entertaining battles with stout Patriots Alan Branch (he's strong), Malcom Brown (he's quick), and Akiem Hicks (he's active).

EDGE: Jets


Rushing yards per game:

New York offense: 114.5 (11th)

New England defense: 95.8 (10th)

When the Jets pass

Now in his 11th season and with his sixth team, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing better than he ever has. The 6-foot-2-inch, 223-pounder isn't blessed with great arm strength or athleticism but gets by on guts, guile, and smarts. Fitzpatrick is extremely competitive and well-respected by his teammates. He puts a nice touch on screens and can zip the intermediate ball. But his accuracy suffers on the deep ball. Fitzpatrick would never be classified as a mobile quarterback but he will tuck it and run on occasion, especially on third down. Fitzpatrick has a very solid set of pass catchers led by Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Marshall (6-4, 230) has exceptional size, speed, body control, and hands. He's adept at shielding defenders from the ball, has great leaping ability, and shows a flair for the dramatic. He can get thrown off his game, however, and will sometimes pout when he's not involved early. Decker (6-3, 217) has good size and strong hands. He's physical and will bowl over smaller defenders. There's a good secondary set of hands in Quincy Enunwa (he's big and physical), Kenbrell Thompkins (he's speedy and tough), and Jeremy Kerley (he's sneaky fast). Tight end Jeff Cumberland's targets are way down. New England cornerbacks Malcolm Butler (he's sticky) and Logan Ryan (he's always right there) are having exceptional seasons. Ditto for the safety rotation. These guys can cover and thump.


EDGE: Patriots

Passing yards per game:

New York offense: 256.7 (10th)

New England defense: 230.3 (eighth)

When the Patriots run

A week ago, depth was a real concern here; now there's a stable of guys ready to share the load. Joey Iosefa burst onto the scene last week and showed a no-nonsense, physical style. He goes full steam ahead and propels his 6-foot, 240-pound frame into defenders. Steven Jackson is a year removed from playing competitive football, but if he can turn back the clock for the final month-plus of the season, it could be a huge boon for this offense. Jackson is a muscular 6-2, 240 with instincts, vision, and power. He's adept at finding and exploiting cutback lanes, but there's much wear on those tires. Brandon Bolden is a tough runner with good lower-body strength and balance. He lacks explosiveness but will rip off some long runs here and there. If those three can split the carries somewhat evenly, everyone gets to stay fresh. Sprinkle in a little James White (he has burst and shiftiness) and this is a formidable attack. On New England's line, center Bryan Stork (he's tough and scrappy) and guards Shaq Mason (he's athletic) and Josh Kline (he's rugged) will have some tough sledding. Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison (6-4, 350) is a massive, mobile monster. He's active and disruptive. Inside linebackers David Harris (he's instinctive and rangy) and Demario Davis (he's quick and athletic) will find the ball carrier and then punish the ball carrier.


EDGE: Jets

Rushing yards per game:

New England offense: 90.8 (28th)

New York defense: 82.8 (second)

When the Patriots pass

Tom Brady does a superior job of trying to get all his receivers involved, but this season his cast seems to change weekly. No matter, he just keeps on slinging. With core targets Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola out, and Brandon LaFell dinged, more might be expected of Keshawn Martin (he's shifty and speedy). Brady also has Rob Gronkowski, the gold standard of tight ends, who has the perfect blend of size, strength, and speed. James White (good hands and shiftiness) continues to expand his importance in this attack. He can run, catch, and pick off blitzers — and the Jets love to blitz. Brady is at his best when he's getting the ball out quickly, and that'll be imperative Sunday as Muhammad Wilkerson is one of the best pocket crashers in the business. A 6-foot-4-inch, 315-pound terror with good quickness and long, powerful arms, Wilkerson has an impressive array of moves to beat blockers. Help will be needed to corral this guy. Leonard Williams (he's quick), Sheldon Richardson (he's strong), and Calvin Pace (he's athletic) can get to the quarterback, too. The secondary is dripping with talent. Corners Darrelle Revis (he can mirror), Antonio Cromartie (he has longer arms than Kevin McHale), and Buster Skrine (he's quick and speedy) can lock it down. Safeties Calvin Pryor and Marcus Gilchrist are rangy thumpers.


EDGE: Patriots

Passing yards per game:

New England offense: 302.9 (second)

New York defense: 240.0 (13th)

Brandon Marshall.
Brandon Marshall.Elsa/Getty Images/File/Getty

Jets’ key player: WR Brandon Marshall

An emotional, fiery player, Marshall can, at times, be unstoppable (he once had 21 catches in a game) but he's also one tantrum away from being a nonfactor.

How he beats you: With great physical skills. Marshall has great size, speed, strength, and smoothness. He explodes in and out of his routes, has strong hands and a big catch radius, and can leap out of the building.


How to shut him down: By matching his physicality. Press coverage is a must, then stay in his shirt throughout the route. Easier said than done, but Logan Ryan has silenced bigger receivers (see: Thomas, Demaryius).

Jets’ keys to victory

1. Turbulence: Big-boy nose tackle Damon Harrison has to create havoc in the middle by stuffing the run and also preventing Tom Brady from stepping up.

2. Air traffic control: Ryan Fitzpatrick has to continue to make smart decisions (shouldn't be hard for a Harvard guy) and not turn the ball over.

3. Nonstop: The Jets (four straight wins) can't afford a letdown, even if they get down. One lapse and they'll lose this game and a shot at the playoffs.

Patriots’ keys to victory

1. Checked baggage: Tom Brady's protectors must be at their best to prevent the explosive Muhammad Wilkerson from crashing into the backfield.

2. Super saver: Spread the wealth in the running game. Let Steven Jackson, Joey Iosefa, and Brandon Bolden split the carries and keep everyone's legs fresh.

3. Flight delay: Put the brakes on Chris Ivory early and prevent him from finding a rhythm. Grounding the backs turns the Jets' offense into a one-dimensional attack.

PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Jets 24

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.