The New York Jets and New England Patriots wrap up their season series this Sunday. In the teams first meeting, the Patriots intercepted Geno Smith three times in the fourth quarter. Needless to say, the Patriots defeated the Jets 13-10 in a sloppy Thursday night game.
Coming into this game, the Patriots are 5-1 and are on a high after their last-second victory against one of the best teams in the league, the New Orleans Saints. The Jets are 3-3, and ever game so far has been determined by Geno Smith's play. In the Jets' three losses, Smith has a QBR of 9.76. In their three wins, he has a QBR of 69.17.
This game may be a crossroad for both teams. If the Jets lose, they will be three games behind the Patriots for first place with a difficult schedule ahead of them as they face the Cincinnati Bengals and the New Orleans Saints the following two weeks. The further they fall, the harder and harder it will get for the Jets. If the players start to turn on the team and Smith, as they already have once this year, the media will soon follow, and the Jets' organization will be a circus yet again.
For the Patriots, as mentioned earlier, if they win, they will have a comfortable lead in the AFC East and a fairly easy schedule ahead of them. They, also, will soon get Rob Gronkowski back. The Pats hope that Gronkowski can stabilize their shaky offense, which could propel them to have a deep playoff run.
If the roles are reversed and the Jets pull the upset, it will only bring the surprisingly competitive AFC East closer together. All that being said, here are three bold predictions for the game.
1. Geno Smith will shine
Smith has been hit or miss so far this season. He is currently on the “wow” one game, “ugh” the next game pace. Luckily for the Jets, he did not play well last week. The last time these teams met, Smith had some good moments. The three interceptions, however, did cost them the game. In Smith's defense, his receivers dropped quite a few balls and in the second half it was raining heavily. So, excuses can be made.
Since their last match up, the Patriots have lost two of their best defensive players, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. Also, their best corner back Aqib Talib is questionable for the game.
Smith will have the film from last game to study, which will give him somewhat of an edge against Belichick's tricky defense.
To top it all off, the Jets will be at home where the forecast is mostly sunny. Let us see whether or not Jets' fans will be radiant after the game.
2. Julian Edleman will have 10+ catches again
In week 2, Edleman scorched the Jets for 13 catches on 18 targets. Last week, Edleman led the team in targets will 11. He has been the one receiver that Tom Brady can rely on and that will not change this week. The Jets secondary is very weak besides Antonio Cromartie and have always struggled against the Patriots slot receiver. Just look at Wes Welker's stats against them. With Gronkowski more than likely missing the game, Brady will feed the ball to Edleman. Especially if it is a close game.
3. The New York Jets will pull the upset
It is called bold predictions for a reason. Although the Patriots are coming off a miraculous win, the Jets could kill their vibe. Coach Rex Ryan believes if the 12th man comes to play, anything is possible. In an interview on 98.7 ESPN New York, Ryan said if the Jets fans are as loud as they were in the past against the Patriots “we're gonna beat this team.”
The Patriots' offense is not dynamic as it once was, which means the Jets' defense no longer needs to play perfect against Brady. The Patriots' defense has stepped up, but they still give up 347 yards per game and they are missing key players. So, it will not be an easy day for their defense. Even if they are playing against an inconsistent New York Jets team
The Jets had the opportunity to win in Foxborough earlier this year and they, literally, let it slip through their fingers. What do you think? Can they pull the upset and get their season back on track? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.