The New England Patriots will be hoping to pick up their first win of the season, as they take on the New York Jets on Sunday evening (18:00) at MetLife Stadium.
The winless Patriots have been outscored 19-0 in the first quarter of their first two games, but I think this is the perfect chance for them to bounce back, as another loss here significantly dents their playoff hopes.
It feels like the Jets are still coming to terms with Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending injury, and their performance against the Cowboys last week was a big indication of how much he will be missed.
Defensive tackle for New England Davon Godchaux returned to practice in full on Thursday, while rookie guard Sidy Sow joined cornerback Marcus Jones as a non-participant.
Jonathan Jones and Mike Onwenu both continue to nurse ankle injuries, but both starters have now been participating in a limited capacity for back-to-back Patriots practices, so they could feature on Sunday.
As for the Jets, Breece Hall, Mekhi Becton and Quincy Williams all have knee injuries, while Tony Adams and Duane Brown have not featured in practice at all this week with hamstring and shoulder injuries respectively.
New England Patriots (-2.5) @ 4/5
The Pats have 14 consecutive wins against the Jets and this matchup probably comes at the right time for Bill Belichick and his squad, as another loss could negatively impact their playoff hopes for this season.
Like I’ve mentioned above, I think that the Aaron Rodgers injury scenario has deflated things to an extent for the Jets, and as promising as Zach Wilson looks, he’s no Aaron Rodgers.
Wilson has thrown two touchdowns compared to seven interceptions in his four starts against Bill Belichick, suggesting he could struggle to make an impact this weekend.
If the Patriots can shut down the Jets’ running game like the Cowboys did last week, I think they’ll emerge victorious and cover the spread.
Under 36.5 points @ 10/11
With a game between two struggling offenses, I’m expecting points to be at a premium in this match.
I think this game has the makings of a defensive battle – the Jets’ offense struggled massively against Dallas last week, with Wilson throwing three picks, being sacked three times and the offense was 1-for-10 on third down. With only two offensive touchdowns in two games, New York will face another stern test here against a solid Patriots defense.
Likewise, the Pats running game struggled against Miami and were limited to just 88 yards on 25 carries.
For those reasons, I’m taking the under on the points total.