The New York Jets head into a game in Week 6 with the division rival the New England Patriots. Here are three bold predictions for Gang Green.
It’s time for the New York Jets to enter the tough part of their 2017 schedule. The only team that enters Week 6 with arecord that remains on the Jets schedule is the Los Angeles Chargers. There will be no more walks in the park from here on out. So if this Jets team is that much better than many expected, this will be the stretch to prove it.
The New England Patriots come calling in Week 6, and it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Patriots in 2017. Surprisingly, their defense is struggling entering Week 6. As a result, there’s a three-way tie atop the AFC East heading into this game.
Not surprisingly, their offense hasn’t missed a beat, even with key injuries. So, it’s going to be a tough game regardless for the Jets. Regardless of the perception of how good or bad an opponent is, division games are always tough matchups. This game will be no exception to that rule.
It was clear that the Jets took the Browns lightly last week. They can’t do that against the Patriots, because if they do, they will lose, even against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. It’s time to get the crystal ball out and make some predictions for this game.
3. Wilkerson and Williams will each have multiple sacks
Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams come into the Week 6 matchup with the New England Patriots with zero sacks combined in 2017. With that said, this Patriots offensive line is struggling this season. It’s time for the duo to make their mark in 2017.
During the recent dynasty run, it’s rare to see Tom Brady get hit as much as he has this season. The Patriots offensive line have given up the eighth most sacks, tied for the eighth most in quarterback hits allowed, and they have allowed the eighth most combined in the NFL.
This is the game for Wilkerson and Williams to wake up from their season-long hibernation. They may have no sacks coming into this game, but due to the play of the Patriots offensive live, there’s no reason to think they won’t get to Brady early and often.
It time to shine in this game, against this offensive line. They will be amped up, because they’re facing the Patriots. They will make their mark in this game against whom many consider the greatest quarterback of all time.
2. Tom Brady will make uncharacteristic mistakes
Despite getting hit and sacked 49 times this season, Brady has been cool under pressure. He has only committed three turnovers (one interception and two lost fumbles) in the Patriots five games. That’s amazing given two key factors. He’s missing one of his go-to targets, Julian Edelman, and the offensive line is allowing defenses to get their licks in often.
The back seven of the Jets has shown to be to take advantage of their opportunities when they have them. Cornerback Tererence Brooks has two interceptions, and defensive backs Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, and Justin Burris and defensive end Kony Ealy each have one. The Jets are seventh in the NFL with those six interceptions as a team.
The defensive front will get to Brady in this game, and it will cause him to make uncharacteristic mistakes. They will force a turnover or two in this game, and maybe even score themselves.
The combination of the bad offensive line and an opportunistic defense is a perfect recipe for mistakes to happen. Brady is usually cool under pressure, but even the great ones have bad days, and this will be one for Brady.
1. The Jets win a shootout with the Patriots
Typically in the Brady/Belichick era, teams don’t want to get into scoring wars with the Patriots, because they usually end up on top of those games. However, 2017 is a different scenario, because the Patriots are dead last in total defense and passing defense. They’re also 30th is scoring defense. So, against the Patriots, shootouts may not be a bad thing in 2017.
With that said, the Jets aren’t exactly a prolific offense, and they’ve yet to score more than 23 points in any game this season. However, against the Jaguars they showed they’re capable of taking advantage of a clear weakness, when they ran for 256 yards against one of the NFL’s worst run defenses.
Even though they Jets have yet to score more than 23 points, the key number on the scoreboard for this game is 30. The Patriots gave up at least 30 points in three games already this season. The Patriots at 12-15 under Belichick when giving up 30+ points.
In 65 career starts overall, quarterback Josh McCown has recorded 21-44 record. However, he’s led his offense to 30+ points in a games six times, and he’s 6-0 in those games. So, even though getting into a scoring battle with the Patriots has been dubious in the past, the magic number for this game is 30.