New York Jets (1-5 SU, 0-5-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
NFL Football Week 7
Date and Time: Thursday October 16th, 2014. 8:25PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium Foxboro, M.A.
TV: CBS/NFL Network
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYJ +10/NE -10
Over/Under Total: 46
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AFC East foes take center stage this Thursday night when the struggling New York Jets go into Foxboro for a meeting with the New England Patriots. The Jets have lost 5 straight games since their opening victory in week 1 over Oakland. At just 16 points per game, the Jets own the 3rd worse scoring offense in the league which has been the forefront of the teams struggles throughout 2014. This week the Jets will likely have to find some answers if they plan to keep pace with a New England offense that is starting to hit their midseason stride.
After that 41-14 Monday Night debacle in week 4s loss to the Chiefs, the Patriots have rebounded in a tremendous way. The offensive line is playing better, Gronkowski appears to be fully healthy for the first time in ages, and Tom Brady has looked like his normal self over the past few weeks. In fact, the Patriots have scored 40 points on average in the last two weeks in wins over the Bengals and Bills. Tom Brady has been absolutely impressive completing 50 of 72 passing for 653 yards with 6 touchdowns and 0 picks during that stretch.
Those numbers can be largely accredited to the play of the offensive line who has gave Brady a ton of time to throw the football. The offensive line struggled earlier this season but has played much better in recent weeks. If that trend continues, the Patriots are going to be a force in the AFC. As a result of the better play up front and the continued health progression of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots star tight end has really played well the last two weeks. Gronkowski has pulled in 13 grabs for 194 yards with 1 touchdown in the last two games and is becoming the focal point of the passing attack once again. I am sure that makes fantasy owners who gambled on drafting Gronkowski very happy this season and his presence as a force in the Patriots offense cannot be undermined.
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This week the Patriots will face a subpar pass defense in the Jets that has allowed 235 passing yards per game. The Jets are strong along the defensive line and play well against the run. However they do not have the linebackers to match up with Gronkowski and pass catching running back Shane Vereen unless they can put pressure on the quarterback. Therefore this game will likely come down to the efforts of the Patriots offensive line again and their ability to give Brady time to throw the football. The Patriots suffered two big losses in last weeks win over the Bills losing both running back Stevan Ridley and linebacker Jerod Mayo for the season so it will be interesting to see if either has any effects on the Patriots moving forward.
Despite the Jets offensive issues, this team still has a pulse despite being 1-5 SU. The Jets gave the Broncos a pretty good effort in last weeks 31-17 loss. In fact, the Jets were trying to move the ball down the field on the final drive to tie the game before quarterback Geno Smith threw a pick 6 that ended their efforts. As stated before, the Jets have some good players on defense especially along the defensive front. The pass defense has not put up strong numbers but that could be a direct result of how much they have been on the field this season.
If the offense could just stay on the field and score some points, this is not a bad football team. The Jets have only scored more than 19 points once all season. Despite Geno Smiths constant struggles and 6 touchdowns to 7 interceptions pass ratio, head coach Rex Ryan stands firm that Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback despite having Michael Vick on the sidelines. Jets running backs Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson have paved the way for a pretty solid running game that is averaging 121 yards per game (7th in the NFL). However, Smith has to be more productive from behind center and avoid turnovers if this team is going to start winning football games. The potential is there but whether that potential develops remains to be seen.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: We have seen the trend on these Thursday and Monday night games in the NFL this year with the home teams. I think that trend continues as the Jets go into Foxboro at a time when the Patriots are starting to do everything right. Take New England -10