An AFC East rivalry kicks off Sunday as the Patriots take on the Jets. The Patriots lead the all time series 61-53-1, and have won 7 of the last 8 matchups head to head.
The Patriots are coming off their bye week, and lost 34-10 to the Titans in week 10. In week 8, they beat the Bills 25-6, and beat the Packers 31-17 in week 9.
The Jets lost 41-10 to the Bills in week 10 before their bye. In week 8, they lost 24-10 to the Bears, and lost 13-6 to the Dolphins in week 9.
Bovada has the Patriots as 10 point favourites on the road, with an O/U total of 46.5.
New England Patriots
The Pats do not appear as dominant as years past, but you can’t ever write off Tom Brady and Bill Belichick yet. Brady has thrown for 2748 yards, 17 TDs and 7 INTs on the year, completing 65.2% of his passes and throwing for 7.4 yards per attempt. James White is the teams leading receiver, catching 66 balls for 562 yards and 6 TDs (only Patriot with more than 2). Julian Edelman (40/426/2), Rob Gronkowski (29/448/1) and Josh Gordon (26/477/2) all fill different roles in the pass game as well. James White also has 4 TDs and 230 yards on 61 carries on the ground, while Sony Michel (106 carries for 453 yards and 4 TDs) looks to get back on track after a rough week 10 outing.
The Patriots are right in the middle of the pack allowing 23.6 PPG, and are in the bottom 10 in pass defense allowing 270.3 yards per game and 21 TDs through the air. They are average in defending the run, allowing 111.1 yards per game, but just 5 TDs on the ground. The Pats are bottom 3 in sacks with just 15, but have forced 17 turnovers on the year, and own a +4 turnover differential.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
WR Julian Edelman (ankle) – questionable, G Shaq Mason (calf) – questionable, TE Rob Gronkowski (back) – questionable
New York Jets
The Jets have had some rough droughts this season, and appear to be in the middle of one right now as Sam Darnold is dealing with an injury. It is unknown if Darnold will play this week, but neither he nor Josh McCown has been particularly inspiring. Combined they have thrown for 2069 yards and 11 TDs to 16 INTs. The Jets lack any consistent receiving options, but Quincy Enunwa (29 catches for 345 yards and 1 TD) and Robby Anderson (21/346/3) represent their biggest threats. Isaiah Crowell is their #1 back, and has accounted for over 50% of the Jets yardage on the ground. Crowell has rushed 114 times for 552 yards and 6 TDs.
The Jets are below average allowing 25.4 PPG, and are dead in the middle of the league in passing defense allowing 242.1 yards per game and 17 TDs through the air. They are below average in run defense as well, allowing 119.5 yards per game and 9 TDs rushing. The Jets are bottom 10 in sacks with 22, and have forced 15 turnovers, but are -7 in turnover differential.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
QB Sam Darnold (foot) – questionable, WR Robby Anderson (ankle) – questionable, C Spencer Long (finger) – questionable
The Jets are bad man. The Patriots should have a field day against a rough Jets defense to get back on track after a huge let down against Tennessee. Coming off a bye, expect Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels to have been locked in the film room to tie up any loose ends they may see on either side of the ball. The Patriots just have too many weapons for the Jets to contain, and the Patriots are going to find a matchup they like and exploit it all game.
Whether it’s Darnold or McCown doesn’t have much bearing on the outcome of this game. Both are turnover prone and poor decision makers at this point in their respective careers, and the Patriots are one of the more opportunistic defenses in the league. Isaiah Crowell has been a bright spot for the Jets offensively, but in a game where they most likely be down big, it negates the effect he can have on a game. Common gambling law says always take the double digit home-dog, but this matchup just has Patriots written all over it.
Final Pick: Patriots (-10)