New York Jets vs. New England Patriots Preview and Pick

New York Jets (3-10) +23.5, 46 O/U at New England Patriots (13-0) -23.5, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, 1.00pm EST Sunday
by The Crazy Snake of

I’ll start out by saying that I don’t have a prediction model to cater for spreads this big. When one team is clearly superior to such a large degree my model tends to predict much lower margins than the spread would indicate. Thus, this is mostly guess work in terms of who will cover. It’s all guess work in reality, but this is especially so.

These teams met in week 1 and we never really knew what was to come back then in terms of New England’s dominance, the strength of the Brady/Moss combination or the lack of performance from the New York Jets. Ok, I stand corrected on the third count. I think we probably knew the “Not Yets” were indeed that. Moss and Brady hooked up for the first time in a regular season game in this one, a 51 yard strike that capped an 85 yard drive. If we’d known then just how prolific and irresistible that combination would become we might have made enough to retire on. Maybe some of you did, but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you did.

In all likelihood this will get extremely messy. Bill Belichick knows better than to flirt with form this close to playoffs. In addition, while there is history in the offing the Patriots will remain plugged into the task. The hapless Jets don’t stand a chance but they have a chance to try a few things in the hope of finding something useful going forward. I imagine the Pats will do what they have to without straining themselves too much or risking anyone or anything unnecessarily.

Other than that, there really isn’t much about this game that strikes as being particularly noteworthy or potentially memorable. But then, it is the first meeting since Mangini spilled the beans on the alleged on-field signal taping by the Patriots while he was still the defensive coordinator in New England. That could add some spice to this one. Ironic then that the major interest in this one is probably off the field of play. It will be interesting to see what happens between the coaches after the game. I guess they will just keep up appearances regardless of what is really going on.

In terms of other motivations affecting this one, Randy Moss is on target to break Jerry Rice’s record of 22 TD receptions in a single season. He currently has 19 and with 3 games left I imagine he’ll be trying that bit harder to surpass it. Wouldn’t it be poetic if Moss somehow tied Jerry Rice in this game, given that he began the quest to break the record against this very team. Personally, I would like to see Jerry keep his record. But I think it’s a mere formality from here and Moss will break it by season’s end.

No matter what the respective positions of these divisional rivals, the Jets always rise for the Patriots. Thus, there could be some fire in this one despite the lack of any significance in terms of how the season will play out. I can’t really say I have a lean either way here but my gut tells me the Patriots will be on song and that could spell trouble for NYJ.

In the first meeting the margin was 22 points. With bookies setting an even more imposing 23.5 mark for this one it’s pretty difficult to come at it. But if you knew the Patriots were coming to play would you really want to bet against it?

The Snake’s Bite: I think we can expect both teams to come to play, despite it being a “dead” rubber. With the coaching “spygate” sub-plot and the record involving Randy Moss I feel the Patriots will be on. Thus, forced to make a pick I suspect the Patriots will be trying and will therefore cover the alarming impost.