Even though it is Week 16 and typically many teams have nothing left to play for in the final few games, that is definitely not the case in the bitter Jets and Patriots rivalry. Both AFC East squads have been highly competitive for the entire season, and following an excellent first match-up between these squads, fans and bettors alike are surely intrigued by what this game has to offer on Sunday afternoon. For the Patriots, it’s been a tough go of things in recent weeks. They’ve lost their undefeated record, and have more importantly, also lost a bunch of key personnel. Tom Brady is still a great quarterback, but as his weapons keep disappearing around him, you’ve got to wonder if there is a point where this offense may struggle. The Jets are looking to turn those potential struggles to reality this week as they host the hated Patriots. New York needs this win far more badly than New England does, and we should that desperation evident from kickoff. This promises to be one of the best games from the entire Week 16 slate, and with so much on the line, makes the motivation angle much easier to handicap. Read down below for further analysis and a breakdown and pick for Jets/Pats.
Patriots vs. Jets Betting Odds:
New England Patriots -3.5 (+100)
@ New York Jets +3.5 (-120
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Patriots vs. Jets Pick:
It is tough to feel empathy for the New England Patriots, but despite all of their winning, they’ve been dealt with some unbelievably difficult injuries to cope with in recent weeks. Entering Week 16, all Tom Brady will have to throw to will be Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell, Keshawn Martin, and James White from the backfield. That’s not exactly fear-inducing for the Jets, especially when you consider how well they have defended the tight end position all season long. New York also did quite well at limiting Gronkowski back in Week 7, so Brady may need to rely on those other guys to move the chains on Sunday. I’m not certain that’s going to work out well. Expect Darelle Revis to blanket LaFell and the Jets will be able to focus on a struggling run game and short dump-passes. It does seem odd to say, but the Pats aren’t going to have the personnel to go into the Meadowlands this week, against a Jets team in must-win mode, and move the chains with any sort of consistency. Favour the Jets in this match-up vs. Brady.
On the other side of the football, it seems as if New England’s injury concerns have extended beyond their offense. Last week, Dont’a Hightower left injured and isn’t expected to suit up on Sunday. He has been a key run stopper for the Patriots, so without him expect Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell to have some lanes opened up for them. This should also open things up in the passing game for Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Harvard grad did play quite well back in Week 7 on the road against the Patriots, and should be able to replicate his impressive numbers. With both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker at his disposal, New York has proven to be a pretty solid passing squad and they should be able to utilize that to their advantage again this week.
Even though both teams would definitely like to win this game and the motivation levels are high, it’d be nice for New England, while it’s a necessity for the Jets. With little room for error, expect a solid outing at home from the healthy and confident Jets. The Pats are virtually assured of a first-round bye, and look for the Jets to capitalize on that despite an insane amount of public action. New York is playing well right now, and their rivals will bring out the absolute best in them on Sunday.
PICK = Jets +3.5 (-120)