Boomer Esiason on GHS predicts close game between Patriots-Jets Monday night

Ryan Hannable
October 21, 2019 - 7:46 am

On paper, Monday night's Patriots-Jets matchup should not be very close.

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The Patriots are a perfect 6-0, while the Jets are 1-4.

But, the Jets are coming off their first win of the year last week against the Cowboys and quarterback Sam Darnold is back for a second straight week. This is why WFAN and CBS Sports' Boomer Esiason believes the game will be close.

“I think they are going to be in the game, I do," he said Monday morning on The Greg Hill Show. "I think the Jets are feeling a lot better about themselves than they were the last time these two teams played. Sam Darnold has certainly brought a different type of feel around the football team, which is what a young, third overall pick at quarterback should be able to do. They should get C.J. Mosley back on defense. Their defense has actually played really well. With all the injuries that they have on offense, the Patriots, I would think that they are going to be able to keep this thing close.

“But, really what I worry about when you play against the Patriots is turnovers because of how good their secondary has been playing. No matter who is running around at wide receiver for the New York Jets — they don’t have better players than the Patriots secondary, so to me that is really where the crux of this game is going to be won or lost, in the secondary of the Patriots. If the Patriots get a couple of picks they will win easily. If they don’t, this game will stay tight all the way until the end. I do think the Patriots will win it, but I think the Jets will cover.”

As for who is the Patriots' top competition in the AFC? There really isn't a team that stands out.

“Well, since Patrick Mahomes is hurt, I will not count them," Esiason said. "I will say that I think Indianapolis poses a problem. I think the Bills will pose somewhat of a problem, although I am not going to take Josh Allen over Tom Brady. There is no way I am going to do that. Somebody is going to have to go into Gillette -- assuming the Patriots continue winning, and everyone stays healthy there, including Tom Brady -- somebody is going to have to go into Gillette and beat them.

"For whatever reason, John Harbaugh has had some success doing that with Baltimore. I can’t see the Patriots defense getting beat with Lamar Jackson running all over the place. I just can’t see it. They will devise a defensive plan to keep him in the pocket and keep him from getting outside and making all these spectacular plays. Of course, the big question will be will Kansas City improve as a a football team as they wait for the return of Patrick Mahomes? If that is the case, maybe they can be the team come the playoffs. Right now, with 10 games left in the season, it doesn’t look like there are too many contenders in the AFC.”

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