Rob Celletti: Though I’m not one to panic after every loss and banish this team back to “Same Old Jets”-ville, I’d be lying if I told you I was confident about this game. Can you pass on the Patriots? Absolutely. But will the Jets be able to provide their embattled quarterback time to throw? Will the Jets get back to their run-heavy ways? Will the defense play like it did last December vs. the Patriots, or last January? This increasingly seems like one of those games where the Jets need to play nearly perfect football (no turnovers, no penalties of the backbreaking variety, finish off good field position opportunities with touchdowns, not field goals) PLUS get a couple of breaks to win. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening. For the first time this year, I’m picking the Jets to lose 27-20. The Pats will have nothing but revenge on their mind, and let’s call a spade a spade: the Jets are currently a fragile team that has a lot of uncertainty sprinkled throughout its roster. Hard to see them getting everything in line in time for Sunday’s game.
TJ Rosenthal: Jets WIN IF: The Defense takes over the driver’s seat for this team. We expect some early Ground and Pound experimentation by the offense, for better or worse. The Pats D is missing some key pieces so this may boost the Jets sagging run game as well.This will bring down the scoring on both sides we’ll assume Rex wants to slow down this Pats offense averaging 33.8 per game. Last year the Jets averaged giving up 19 per game, scoring 22.9. So this needs to be somewhere in between. If the defense can hold the Pats to 24 points or so, the Jets have a real shot. Despite being 9 point underdogs.
JETS LOSE IF: The Ground and Pound stalls while Brady jumps out to a lead that is too wide for the Jets. This would mean that Sanchez and co. wouldn’t be able to simply stay in a shell. Opening things up out of early desperation would make this another ugly contest like last Monday nights 45-3 drubbing. It won’t be as bad this time, but would be the type of loss that could feel like the Jets are chasing to get back into a game that is out of their reach all day.
Justin Fritze: Jets win 21-20. I was unfortunately correct about my pick with the Ravens last week, but I think the Jets know that week 5 is like week 15 in New York. A loss to the Patriots puts them up 4-1 with the Jets at 2-3 with a much needed home stand against the Dolphins trying to get them back to .500. I see the Jets pulling this one out and jumping into at least second if not first in the AFC East.
Chris Celletti: The Jets are in another tough spot here. The Patriots smell blood and you know they want to contribute in putting the Jets’ season into a tailspin. I think the Jets’ defense will put together a respectable effort. They responded in a big way on Sunday night, and I expect them to do the same. The onus is on Mark Sanchez to protect the ball and make good reads, and on Brian Schottenheimer to construct a winning
offensive game plan. I’m not so sure the Jets will be able to put up enough points, however. As good as the Jets defense might play, it’s extremely difficult to keep the Patriots at or around 20 points, which is where the Jets might need them if they want to win. Unfortunately for Gang Green, I think they fall in a game that is close in the fourth quarter, but goes to the Patriots 27-20.