You’ll have to excuse my skepticism about the New York Jets chances this Sunday. No Vince Wilfork. No Jerod Mayo. No Aqib Talib. No Danny Amendola. No Shane Vereen. And on and on. I’ve seen this movie before. 2008? No Brady…Jets still lost at home. Back in week 2? Pats were all sorts of banged up…Jets still lost. I know we had the good times (and the bad times) in 2009 and 2010 but the past five meetings have been ugly for the Jets against the Patriots.
Two blowout losses at home and three painfully close losses in New England’s building. Every year, people rush to bury the Patriots and every year they handle business and win the AFC East. 9 out of the last 10 years isn’t an accident. I don’t care what Tom Brady’s stats look like this season, if you don’t respect his game, you aren’t paying attention. Everybody is in a rush to rip apart the Patriots yet they are 5-1 and 2-0 in the division already and the only game they lost this season occurred in a tropical rain storm.
I see what this look like on paper. The Jets are home, despite that advantage being potentially overstated, it is better than being in New England. New England’s defense, which was relatively average to begin with is now missing their best player at all three levels. Offensively, they are getting Rob Gronkowski back but are still somewhat limited at wide receiver (even though Julian Edelman gashed the Jets for 13 receptions just a few weeks back). On PAPER, this is a game the Jets have a very good chance of winning. We’ve seen Rex scheme up Brady well in the past but we’ve also seen Belichick cause an ungodly amount of turnovers from Jets quarterbacks in recent years, including 3 interceptions for Geno Smith in week 2.
That is really where it starts and ends on Sunday. If the Jets protect the football and win the turnover battle, they are probably going to win. It sounds like such a simple thing but against New England, it never seems to be. Offensively, they are going to need to make a few plays as well. The Jets have lost games this season when they allowed 13 (to New England) and 19 points…that just can’t happen. If the Jets hit the 20 point mark, they can probably do enough defensively to steal this game at home. Will they? Let’s crack into the 12 pack to find out….
1. Continuing his roller coaster season, Geno Smith will have a strong, encouraging overall performance. He will finish with 210 yards passing, 25 yards rushing and with a 60-65 completion percentage. Smith will have only 1 turnover on the day.
2. Chris Ivory will score his first career touchdown as a New York Jet. He will finish with over 65 yards rushing yards and average over 4.0 YPC.
3. Bilal Powell will have 60 total yards of offense and a touchdown.
4. Julian Edelman will lead New England in receptions with 8. However, he will have under 70 yards receiving.
5. Rob Gronkowski will score a touchdown in his return….because of course he will.
6. Tom Brady will be sacked three times and have one turnover. He will also throw two touchdowns and complete roughly 65% of his passes.
7. Stevan Ridley will be held to under 55 yards rushing.
8. Jeremy Kerley will lead the Jets in receptions with 5. Stephen Hill will lead the Jets in receiving yards with 80.
9. Josh Cribbs will have at least one offensive touch in his Jets debut and add some pop to the return game.
10. Sheldon Richardson will have a sack and 2 tackles for a loss.
11. Nick Folk will continue his perfect season by knocking through a pair of 40+ yarders.
12. History suggests I am a damn fool for doing this but I’m picking the Jets to win in a last second, potentially overtime game…20-17. My gut says to pick against them but my gut has been wrong the last three weeks on game outcomes.