Expect the Patriots to use a lot of players today. A combination of the hot and humid temperatures, and other roster factors (e.g. TE Kyle Brady not playing a preseason game; CB Asante Samuel arriving late), will result in this approach.
The depth concern is the defensive line, where the Patriots are minus two of their top five players — Richard Seymour (PUP) and Mike Wright. That will make getting off the field on third down a priority, because the Patriots don’t want their linemen to wear down.
In terms of the chess match between the teams, the key area to watch is the Patriots’ offense vs. the Jets defense. Will the Jets pressure? As Tom Brady pointed out last Monday, the Jets blitzed 22 straight times in the playoff game between the teams last year. If it happens again, and the Patriots leave extra players in to protect, in theory that should allow Tom Brady more time to find his new targets down the field.