The last word: New England Patriots in for a battle against New York Jets

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Tom Brady /

The New England Patriots and New York Jets face off this Sunday in a key AFC East matchup in early October.

It’s week six in the NFL and the New England Patriots visit their division rival, the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. Are you ready for some football?

"“You are what your record says you are!”"

So saith Bill Parcells, the former head coach who turned the one-time New England “Patsies” into the Patriots some 24 years ago, selecting Drew Bledsoe with the No.1 pick. (However, Parcells later missed on a little known quarterback from Michigan whom Bill, then the Jets coach, could have taken with the 179th pick. His scouts strongly suggested instead of letting Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli pick Tom Brady at 199.)

And the record says that the Patriots are only as good as the Buffalo Bills and this week’s opponents, the Jets of New Jersey. All three have 3 wins and two losses.

And before anyone starts arguing about the strength of schedule and such, I’ll remind you that the Patriots should be 2-3 save for Tom Brady magic in week 3 and an unsure kicker in Nick Folk last week.

So let’s not assume this week’s game against the surprising Jets will be a cakewalk.

Who are they?


The Jets QB Josh McCown is playing some iffy football, not topping three hundred yards yet this season. With three straight wins, he has been doing enough to be competitive with the help of the Jets very stout defense, lead by DL Leonard Williams and 2017 first round draft pick, S Jamal Adams, and an acceptable running game helmed by Bilal Powell(hurt), Matt Forte (not 100%), and impressive rookie Elijah McGuire. They have also fooled around with special teams trickery as they had a successful trick punt vs the Jacksonville Jaguars in week four.

As for their passing game, it has been woefully unimpressive with second year man Robby Anderson trying his hardest.

How we stack up?


When the New England Patriots are on offense, they need to account for a tough Jets defense that can score points and make big plays. With three straight wins the Jets defense is going to be feeling pretty good, while the Patriot offense might be questioning itself a little after last week’s weak showing.

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If the Patriots can slow down the Jets defense and improve their abhorrent offensive line play, the Patriots running backs ought to have a good or great time on Sunday as the Jets are ranked 29th in the NFL for stopping the run.

When the Patriots play defense, the theme is similar; a need to limit the running backs, as they seem to need every week. If they can do that, the Patriots greatly increase their chances of leaving MetLife stadium with a win.

On paper, this looks like a definite Patriots win, but with only certain Patriots units playing well each week, it is hard to know how good they can be. Also, even as divisions have mattered less and less in other sports, in football, division games matter greatly and  teams seem to play harder in them. However with that being said, I see the Patriots leaving with a hard fought win in the trenches.

Final score:  New England Patriots 24  New York Jets 16

Squib Notes


Rex Burkhead – Burkhead has a chance to return to action this week, though probably in a limited fashion

David Harris – Harris will be facing the Jets for the first time since switching sides. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception, if any, the Jets put on for Harris.

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Brady’s injured left shoulder – that’s part of the price one pays for a very leaky offensive line and a new to this year game plan that requires Brady to hold the ball a few ticks longer. To this end, I cannot believe the chatter I still hear about wanting to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to help the defense. If Tom Brady does get hurt, the New England Patriots will be so happy to have Jimmy to turn to. Even if this is all of about Brady’s possibly last year as a Patriot and possibly as an NFL quarterback, having Jimmy back there is not just a luxury anymore, we might need him.

Alan Branch – I don’t know what has happened to the man that earned a two year extension. Where is that man? He certainly has been a no-show recently leading to a healthy scratch for Branch. Hopefully this turns out to be the kick in the pants that Branch needs, because other wise, the newly resigned Patriot might not be wearing Patriot blue  for very long.

Last word on last week

I cannot remember the last time where there were so many fundamental mistakes on both sides of the ball this late into the season. I know there is a trend of having the first few games act like an extension of the preseason, but not five games in. I am worried about the team in a way that has not happened very often. 2013 and 2009 come to mind as teams that did not work out because of injuries and/or insufficient leadership in the locker room.

Next: Why the New England Patriots should sign Navorro Bowman

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not a great team, but they certainly looked the part at times, and if not for a terrible kicker, would have probably won. So these next few games are really going to test if this team can come together and rise above the various injuries and misplays.

As for me, all I can say, GO PATS!