Patriots vs. Jets: 3 keys to the game, fun facts, prediction

Ryan Hannable
October 21, 2019 - 8:31 am
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Following an extended break due to their game last Thursday, the Patriots will return to action Monday night against the Jets on the road.

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The Patriots are a perfect 6-0, while the Jets enter at 1-4, but it’s a deceiving 1-4. They are coming off a win over the Cowboys and they have quarterback Sam Darnold back. The second-year QB did not play in Week 3 when the Patriots beat the Jets, 30-14.

With the exception of last year, the Patriots’ games on the road against the Jets have been relatively close. Before last year’s 27-13 win, the previous five games were all one-possession games.

Patriots vs. Jets
Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 
8:20 p.m., ESPN
Patriots -9.5, over/under 43.5

3 keys to the game

Keep Le’Veon Bell in check

Bell is still one of the best running backs in the entire NFL and can completely take over a game. But, that hasn’t happened this year. His season-high for rushing yards is 68 and as a team the Jets are 29th in the league in rushing. With that being said, the Patriots need to make sure this trend continues. New England is allowing 73.7 yards per game on the ground, good for third in the league.

Find an offensive identity 

It’s Week 7 and the Patriots still really do not know what they do well on offense. Tom Brady and the passing game hasn’t exactly clicked, and neither has the running game. Given the players currently on the roster, getting the running game going appears to be the best route to go and play like it is the early 2000s — take care of the ball and rely on the defense. Sony Michel showed signs of progress last week and the team certainly hopes it continues this week.

Don’t let Sam Darnold get confident

The Jets quarterback has showed some promise to open his NFL career and the last thing the Patriots want is for him to gain confidence going against their defense. As it is every week, it is important for them to get off to a good start and play from ahead. If they can do that, it could be a tough night for Darnold and the Jets offense. 

Fun facts

1. With a win, the Patriots will extend their win streak over the Jets to eight straight games, which would tie their longest win streak against one opponent.

2. If Julian Edelman records 100 yards or more receiving, it would be his first regular-season steak of three games with at least 100 yards receiving.

3. Bill Belichick is 9-7 in road Monday night games, while he is 9-1 in home Monday night games.

4. Since 2013, the Patriots are 69-2 when leading after three quarters.

5. The Patriots are 11-0 when Michel scores a touchdown.

Prediction 

Patriots 21, Jets 13

This game will not be a blowout and could be closer than what many expect. Typically, Patriots-Jets games at East Rutherford are close and this should be no exception. While the Jets will struggle to move the ball against the Patriots defense, it’s no guarantee the Patriots will be able to move the ball against the Jets defense. Do not be surprised to see this game come down to the final minutes.

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