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

Ryan Hannable
November 24, 2018 - 8:55 am
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After a week off due to their bye, the Patriots are finally back in action.

Following their blow out loss to the Titans, the Patriots will certainly want to bounce back in a big way, while the Jets come into the game losers of four straight and their season going in the wrong direction.

Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will miss his second straight game, so veteran Josh McCown will get the start, while Tom Brady missed Friday’s practice with a knee injury and an illness, but is officially questionable and reportedly expected to play.

Patriots vs. Jets
Sunday, November 25, 2018
1:00 p.m., CBS
Patriots -10.5, over/under 46.5

3 keys to the game

Get offense going again

The loss against the Titans was arguably the worst offensive performance of the season. New York enters the game at 3-7 and with the 19th ranked defense, so it is a good opportunity for the Patriots offense to bounce back. The one thing to watch is the Jets have the second-best third-down defense in football, so it will be important for the Patriots to avoid those or make them manageable. They should get Rob Gronkowski back after missing the last two games and three out of the last four, so that should help Brady and the rest of the offense get going. Also, keep an eye on the running game as that sets the tone for the entire unit.

Get off to fast start

The first few minutes of the game will be telling, as after a bad loss and the bye week, the Patriots should come out of the gates firing — or at least if this is like most Patriots teams of the past. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots win the toss they take the ball just to set the tone. Same thing goes on the defense side of the ball. The Patriots have fallen behind early in all three of their losses, all on the road, which the team certainly does not want to happen again. 

Get Rob Gronkowski some confidence 

Gronkowski is one of the biggest keys to the rest of the season. If he can stay on the field and contribute, the Patriots have as good of a chance of anyone to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The All-Pro hasn’t played a game in almost a month with the hope his ankle/back injuries have subsided so he can get back to the player he was of a year ago. Facing a struggling Jets team could be just what he needs to get some confidence back.

Fun facts

1. In the regular season, the Patriots have won 13 straight games when rushing for more than 100 yards as a team. 

2. With 147 yards passing, Brady will become the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (regular and postseason) passing Peyton Manning.

3. Stephen Gostkowski has made 32 straight field goals from less than 50 yards in the regular season, which is tied for the longest streak of his career, and also the longest current streak in the NFL.

4. In 13 career games against the Jets, Julian Edelman is only averaging 46 yards receiving per game and has just one touchdown.

5. Patriots opponents have started 11 drives in the final two minutes of the first or second half and they have yet to score any points.

Prediction 

Patriots 31, Jets 10

If this is like any of the Patriots teams in the past, this game shouldn’t be close. The Patriots are coming off a bye and also a game where they lost by double-digits, all the makings for a huge bounce back win against a struggling divisional opponent. If the Patriots do not come out with a lot of emotion and strong play, then it may be time to worry about the team’s chances of making a deep run in January.

Related: Mike Lombardi on OMF: People are jumping to conclusions with Rob Gronkowski

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