NFL 2019 (Week 7): New England Patriots at New York Jets

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 7): New England Patriots at New York Jets

By Jesse Pierson

Special to Pro Football Guru

New York Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold missed three games while suffering from mononucleosis but wasted no time in getting back into a groove in an upset over the Dallas Cowboys last week. The second-year player threw for 338 yards and two scores, which was a breath of fresh air after three weeks of Luke Falk failing to break the 200-yard threshold. Darnold’s spleen is no longer enlarged and at risk of rupturing, Falk has been released, and the Jets are looking to put together a win streak for the first time since October of last year. The only thing standing in the way is buzz saw named the New England Patriots. New England has scarcely been challenged on its way to a 6-0 record, including a 30-14 trouncing of the Darnold-less Jets four weeks ago. The Pats were up 30-0 late in the third quarter before a pair of defensive scores skewed the final score toward slightly more respectable territory. Surely Darnold’s presence will have an impact, but can he pull out another upset in the Meadowlands?

Patriots: New England is entering a stretch in which three of their next four games are on the road. To make matters more difficult, Tom Brady’s targets are dropping like flies. Tight ends Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo, wide receiver Josh Gordon and running back Rex Burkhead will all miss this game. Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett and Gunner Olszewski are all listed as questionable as well. Can Brady and Belichick win a game throwing all of their passes to tight end Ben Watson and running back James White? If the last 20 years are any indication, don’t bet against it. What they likely won’t have to worry about is getting into a shootout. This defense leads the league in points and yards allowed per game (8.0 and 234.7, respectively), is second in sacks with 25 and has also forced 16 turnovers, which leads the league. Oh by the way, the team as a whole is plus-9 in turnover margin and that figure is best in the NFL too.

Jets: The Patriots’ defensive dominance is bad news. New York’s injury report is worse. There are a combined 14 players on the Jets’ two-deep (which lists starters and immediate backups on offense and defense) who have either a “questionable,” “doubtful,” or “out” designation as of Sunday evening. Perhaps the saving grace is that the team’s last three first-round picks are all healthy. That means safety Jamal Adams, Darnold and rookie nose tackle Quinnen Williams will all be counted on to produce for their team. Running back Le’Veon Bell and receivers Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder are fully healthy to boot. What’s more? Linebacker (and captain) C.J. Mosley could return to the field for the first time since a groin injury knocked him out of the season opener in early September (although he is officially listed as questionable). This is all to say that, while the challenge ahead of them is daunting, things could certainly be worse for Adam Gase’s team.

Prediction: The Jets play an energetic brand of football in front of their keyed up home crowd. Monday Night Football fans enjoy a second consecutive one-score game after four straight weeks of blowouts. But New England proves too much for New York yet again.

New England Patriots 23, New York Jets 17

Jesse Pierson (@jessetpierson) is a former teacher and high school football coach who has written about the Colts for over a decade. He loves football, dogs, food, and comedy, and you can follow his work on his Facebook page, Jesse Pierson, Mediocre Writer.

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