Surprising Jets and the Champs

AFC Game Of The Week

New England Patriots at New York Jets

Patriots: In week five, they did what they do best and that’s bounce back after a loss in the previous week. I bet a lot of us thought the Patriots would be undefeated right now and just running away with the AFC East as they always do, but that hasn’t been the case this year. For many years, I’ve always said that Rob Gronkowski is the engine that makes their offense go and rightfully so because of everything he does on the field and he’s the number one option. I really think Julian Edelman is option 1B for this offense and his presence is definitely missed, especially on third down because Brady can’t drop back seven steps and wait for his receivers to get open like he does with Jules. Whenever Gronk was bottled up (which can happen from time to time), Tom could just turn to Edelman to move the chains and get them the first down. Chris Hogan has stepped it up big time as I expected him too and I was really excited when the team signed him because he brings depth and is able to be used in more ways than one. Last week in Tampa Bay was the best I’ve seen their defense look all year long and Matt Patricia did exactly what I said he had to do. He simplified the defense and mixed things up within their secondary. This is a big game against a team that has surprised many people so far.

Jets: They were supposed to be the laughingstock of the NFL, the worst team in the league and the franchise to be the projected number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, here they are sitting in a three-way tie in the AFC East with a record of 3-2. So, how have they done it? They have been getting some good play out of Josh McCown, yes, I said Josh McCown and that wasn’t a typo. When you look at their three wins (Dolphins, Jaguars and Browns), those three teams combined have a record of 5-9 but, let’s give credit when it’s due. Their defense has come through for them once again and they’re ranked 15th in the league in points allowed per game (21.2) and they’ve also done a really good job at defending the pass. The only top 15 QB they’ve faced all season, however, was Oakland’s Derek Carr in Week 2, and Carr completed 23-of-28 passes for three touchdowns, zero picks and a 136.6 passer rating in a 45-20 Raiders win. Where they need to improve is stopping the running game. They’ve always been a thorn in the side of their divisional opponents over the years at times and this is for first place in the division with the defending champs and rival Patriots in town.

Patriots Player To Watch: Brandin Cooks– As the weeks have passed, they’ve done a good job of incorporating him within their system and he and Brady are still developing their chemistry with one another. The more they target him, the better their offense will be and with the Jets struggling to really defend the pass, I see this being a big day possibly for this tandem of Brady and Cooks.

Jets Player To Watch: Bilal Powell– We saw what the Chiefs did to New England in week one and what Doug Martin did to them last week, why wouldn’t they follow the trend and do the same? New England has truly struggled to defend the run all season long. I see him getting his touches early on to control the clock.

Final Analysis: This is match up of the two oldest quarterbacks in the NFL today. In all the years that I’ve seen Tom Brady play, I have never seen him taking a beating like he has this season. It’s key that the offensive line protects him early on or else and it shouldn’t be an issue considering that the Jets have trouble rushing the passer. The Jets simply have to play conservative football in this one. They’ll get that ground game going early and have McCown control things under center.

Prediction: Patriots 30 Jets 21