New England Patriots (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS, 4-1 O/U) vs. New York Jets (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS, 2-3 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EST
The Line: New England Patriots -9.5. Total: 47.
The New England Patriots will have enjoyed a long week by the time they take the field to face the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in New York on Sunday afternoon. New England defeated Tampa Bay this past Thursday, improving to 3-2 for the season. The Jets lost their first two contests but have since reeled off three wins in a row against Miami, Jacksonville, and Cleveland.
Same opponent, new look
There are no secrets between these two AFC East rivals, as they face each other twice every regular season. New England defensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, for one, is well aware that New York’s defense is the real deal.
“They’re a really hard-nosed, tough, physical team,” McDaniels praised. “They know us very well. We know them. They’ve got a physical front. They’ve got a very talented front. They’ve got speed at linebacker. They’ve got length on the edge. They’ve got some really, really talented inside players with (defensive linemen Leonard) Williams, (Muhammad) Wilkerson, (and Steve) McLendon. Those guys are tough to block and do a really good job for them inside. And they’ve got some new guys in the secondary that this will be our first opportunity to play against them and get to know them this week with (safeties Marcus) May and (Jamal) Adams. (Cornerback Morris) Claiborne we’ve played against before, but not as a Jet. So this is a new group; a physical bunch.
Fortunately for the Patriots, they boast one of the best offenses in the game and they are well-rested having not played since last Thursday–when they edged the Buccaneers 19-14. Despite the modest point total, Tom Brady completed 75 percent of his passes (30 of 40) for 303 yards with one touchdown and one interception. New England also amassed 113 yards on the ground, thanks mostly to Dion Lewis’ 53 yards on just seven carries.
Running on empty?
The Jets have an issue–or two–at running back as they head into Week 6. Bilal Powell strained a calf muscle last weekend and is listed as day-to-day. Powell was the starter in Week 5 because of another injury, that one to Matt Forte (out for a second straight game because of turf toe). With Forte and Powell hobbled, New York is down to just a pair of healthy running backs on the roster in Elijah McGuire and Travaris Cadet. The latter was signed in the wake of Forte’s injury. For now, indications are that the Jets will not add another running back and will give most of the work to McGuire. A sixth-round pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette this spring, McGuire has been productive in limited action. He ranks second on the team with 176 rushing yards and he has scored once while averaging 5.2 yards per attempt. Cadet has lined up for only five snaps in two contests and has not found the box score, but he could factor in a third-down role as a capable pass-catcher out of the backfield. Powell, meanwhile, is the Jets’ leading rusher (240 yards) and he is tops among their running backs with 13 receptions.
“I’ll be concerned at the end of the week,” head coach Todd Bowles said. “Right now, I’ll see how the week goes and hopefully we’ll see some progress.”
The New England Patriots are:
- 19-7 ATS in their last 26 overall
- 10-1 ATS in their last 11 road games
- 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records
The New York Jets are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last six games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in their previous game
- 11-4-1 Over in their last 16 games against New England
- 5-2 Over in their last seven home games against New England
The Jets’ defense is no joke, but can it get the best of New England’s offense. Receiver Brandin Cooks is on board with the Patriots now, and he has 18 catches for 379 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. Brady, of course, is showing no signs of slowing down. Because New York is clearly reeling at running back, the home team may not be able to keep up if the Pats jump out to an early advantage. The Patriots are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 overall, 10-1 ATS in their last 11 on the road, 7-1 ATS in their last eight against winning opponents, 6-0 ATS in their last six on the road against opponents with winning home records, 8-2 ATS in their last 10 following a win, and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 against the AFC. New York is 1-5 ATS in its last six after allowing more than 250 passing yards in its previous outing. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: New England Patriots -9.5
New England struggled to the tune of 19 points against Tampa Bay, but Brady and company have delivered between 27 and 36 points in their four other efforts. At the same time, the Patriots’ defense is atrocious. An erratic Jameis Winston made the unit look good in Week 5, but just about every other quarterback has torched it with ease this season. The over is 8-1 in the Patriots’ last nine overall, 5-0 in their last five against the AFC, 6-0 in their last six following a win, and 47-23 in their last 70 against winning opponents. It is also 5-2 in the Jets’ last seven following an ATS win. Additionally, the over is 11-4-1 in the last 16 meetings between the two teams and 5-2 in New England’s last seven trips to New York. Look for this one to go over the total.