No defense in the NFL defended the pass as well as the Jets, but they did have one nightmare game at New England, where Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 310 yards and slot receiver Wes Welker caught 15 passes for 192 yards.
 
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine called that a "unique situation" with Welker's skills in the slot and said it's unlikely San Diego will take that approach on Sunday. "I don't see them coming out and not running their offense, and it's built around vertical shots, screens and the tight end mixed in," Pettine said.
 
Given the skill of Jets corners Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard, the most favorable matchups likely will use tight end Antonio Gates and running back Darren Sproles, especially if they can get them against a linebacker rather than an extra defensive back. Sproles is especially dangerous in terms of turning a short screen pass into a huge gain.

"You have to recognize screens," linebacker Bart Scott said. "Who stops screens? D-linemen stop screens, re-tracing their steps, not getting upfield too fast [in pass rush]. But of course, the linebackers have a huge role. You've got to get hands on the receiver. You can't give them easy access. When they do throw screens, you have to discourage them early."
 
Outside linebacker Bryan Thomas has been used in pass coverage often this season, but Sproles would be a mismatch for most any linebacker. "He's a fast guy," Thomas said. "He's a little scatback who can get all over the field and create mismatches. You have to treat him like a wide-receiver-type guy. You have to have your eyes on him the whole time because you can lose him, and he can beat you deep."
 
San Diego coach Norv Turner is the architect of the offense, and Pettine said he's the master of the screen pass. "Norv Turner has different screens every week, so, we're expecting twice as much given the fact he had an extra [bye] week to come up with some," Pettine said. "Our guys have to read their keys, react and execute the defenses called."
 
Word in the locker room is that Pettine has cooked up some new looks and personnel packages to combat Turner's screen game.