It has been nearly 10 years since the last time the New York Jets (0-2) won a game in Foxborough, as the Patriots have utterly dominated their long-time rival during their recent matchups in Gillette Stadium. Week 3 won’t be any easier for New York, as they bring an injury-riddled roster to the home of the champs.
Here are some things to consider entering this game.
1. What will the offense look like without AB?
Much of the conversation surrounding the Patriots’ offense in recent weeks was about the addition of mercurial wide receiver Antonio Brown who made his debut for the team during last week’s blowout victory against the Dolphins. However, due to Brown’s decision to send intimidating text messages to a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct, the Patriots opted to part ways with him on Friday.
Brown getting released just 2 days prior to the game likely throws a wrench into Josh McDaniels’ offensive game plan, as he’ll have to adjust the formations and sets he would’ve called if Brown was on the field. I’d expect McDaniels to focus on three receiver sets using Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, and Josh Gordon. The Pats’ rushing attack will likely be less effective on Sunday, as they’ll be missing their lead blocker, fullback James Develin who won’t be playing due to a neck injury. Another key issue will be depth on the offensive line, due to injuries sustained to Isaiah Wynn and Marcus Cannon.
If the offensive line is able to keep Tom Brady upright, they’ll give the Pats a great chance to win this game.
2. Will the defense finally give up a touchdown?
The Patriots’ defense has been on a remarkable stretch over their last 3 games, as they haven’t given up a touchdown since the AFC Championship Game against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Remarkably, they also haven’t given up a touchdown to the Jets in Gillette Stadium since October 2015. The Jets will be playing without their starting quarterback Sam Darnold due to his bout with mononucleosis. Instead, they’ll be going up against third-stringer Luke Falk who will be making his first career start. The Pats are definitely aware of the danger Le’Veon Bell presents as a rusher and a pass-catcher, which means that their linebacking corps will likely be tasked with covering/shadowing him. Stephon Gilmore and the secondary will need to neutralise Jameson Crowder, Robby Anderson, and the rest of New York’s receivers.
Bottling up Bell, clamping down on the receivers, and pressuring Falk will put the Pats in a great position to emerge victorious.
- James Develin (neck) – Out
- Shilique Calhoun (not injury related) – Questionable
- Marcus Cannon (shoulder) – Questionable
- Ryan Izzo (calf) – Questionable
- Matt LaCosse (ankle) – Questionable
- Sam Darnold (illness) – Out
- Jordan Jenkins (calf) – Out
- C.J. Mosley (groin) – Doubtful
- Demaryius Thomas (hamstring/knee) – Doubtful
- Quinnen Williams (ankle) – Doubtful
- Kelvin Beachum (ankle) – Questionable
- Josh Belamy (shoulder) – Questionable
- Trenton Cannon (ankle/hamstring) – Questionable
- Steve McLendon (hip) – Questionable
- Rontez Miles (hip) – Questionable
- Ty Montgomery (not injury related) – Questionable
- Kelechi Osemele (knee) – Questionable
- Brian Poole (groin) – Questionable
- Brian Winters (shoulder) – Questionable
Prediction: Patriots 35, Jets 9
Here are my picks for the NFL’s other Week 3 contests.
Last week: 9-6
Dolphins at Cowboys: Cowboys
Bengals at Bills: Bengals
Lions at Eagles: Eagles
Falcons at Colts: Falcons
Raiders at Vikings: Vikings
Ravens at Chiefs: Chiefs
Broncos at Packers: Packers
Panthers at Cardinals: Panthers
Giants at Buccaneers: Buccaneers
Saints at Seahawks: Seahawks
Texans at Chargers: Texans
Steelers at 49ers: 49ers
Rams at Browns: Rams
Bears at Redskins: Bears