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The 2014 New York Jets have had about as good a year for business as Quiznos Subs. The 3-11 Jets taking on the top-ranked New England Patriots has about as much watchability potential as an erotic straight-to Cinemax movie starring your parents in the lead roles. The Jets (or as I like to call them, NY lite) are already being floated as potential trade partners for an NFC head coach and a benched quarterback with over 25 million dollars in guarantees; and there are still two games left to go.
In the words of the inarticulate vacuum cleaner salesman: This sucks.
Where Each Team Is
Both teams are coming off of wins in week 15. The Patriots are sitting on top of their conference while the Jets are jockeying for last place with the Titans and Raiders. The Jets are coming off of a narrow victory against the Tennessee Titans, greatly reducing their chances of picking in the top five of the 2015 NFL Draft and acquiring a potential franchise quarterback. The Patriots are enjoying another league-dominating season and are poised to make a run at the Super Bowl. Even if the Patriots were upset by the Jets on Sunday, it would be a small speed bump on their road to the playoffs. The Jets are playing for nothing but pride and future contracts.
Patriots vs Jets coverage
Sister Site: Pats Pulpit
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ.
Field: Open air, artificial turf.
Coverage: CBS. America's most vanilla network.
Weather: Partly sunny with a high in the low 40's.
Record: Patriots lead the all-time 57-53-1.
What happened last time? The Patriots barely knocked off the Jets, beating Gang Green by a score of 27-25 on October 16th earlier this year.
Who is favored? Patriots by 11 on the opening line.
|Name||Position||Injury||Practice Status||Game Status|
|Nick Mangold||C||Finger||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Calvin Pryor||S||Shoulder||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Nick Folk||K||right Hip||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Jaiquawn Jarrett||S||Shoulder||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Antonio Allen||S||Hand||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Rontez Miles||S||Shin||Did Not Participate In Practice||Out|
|Muhammad Wilkerson||DE||Toe||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Percy Harvin||WR||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Willie Colon||G||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Chris Johnson||RB||Knee||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Saalim Hakim||WR||Quadricep||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Name||Position||Injury||Practice Status||Game Status|
|Chris White||LB||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Tom Brady||QB||Ankle||Full Participation in Practice||Probable|
|Brandon LaFell||WR||Shoulder||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Julian Edelman||WR||Thigh||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|LeGarrette Blount||RB||Shoulder||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Shane Vereen||RB||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Cameron Fleming||T||Ankle||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Dominique Easley||DE||--||Out (Definitely Will Not Play)||--|
|Kyle Arrington||CB||Hamstring||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Danny Aiken||LS||Finger||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Dont'a Hightower||LB||Shoulder||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Dan Connolly||G||Knee||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Chandler Jones||DE||Hip||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
|Rob Ninkovich||DE||Heel||Limited Participation in Practice||Questionable|
Jets: On offense the Jets are 29th in points scored, 25th in overall yards on average, 32nd in passing yards and 2nd in rushing yards. Teams with no passing ability tend to have high rushing averages.
On defense the Jets are 24th in points allowed, 6th in overall yards allowed, 19th in passing defense, and 4th in rushing defense. The Jets have played stout defense in terms of averages in spite of being woefully incomplete at cornerback and underperforming in other areas.
Patriots: On offense the Patriots are 1st in points scored, 8th in overall yards, 6th in passing yards; and 19th in rushing yards. The Patriots potent offense does not match up well for the Jets, who are weakest against the pass.
On defense the Patriots are 8th in points allowed, 17th in overall yards allowed, 22nd against the pass, and 10th against the run.
In spite of fielding high profile names such as Revis and Browner, the Patriots have on average a worse overall pass defense than the Jets. This is due to the Patriots engaging in a larger number of offensive shootouts while the Jets play much closer, more defensive games in terms of style that is not conducive to heavy passing production. But the simple fact of the matter is that while the Patriots have the most loaded roster at cornerback, they on average allow more production than the Ryan-coached worst secondary in football. Rex Ryan is a woefully incomplete head coach who needs a change of scenery, but anyone who says Rex Ryan doesn't coach up this defense hasn't the slightest idea what they are talking about.
AP Pro Ranking has the Jets at 27th overall (up three spots after defeating the Titans), and the Patriots are ranked 1st overall.
Attacking the Patriots
Yeah, good luck with that.
The Jets managed to play a very tight game with the Pats last go around, on the road nonetheless, so beating the Patriots is far from impossible. The Jets historically have a tendency to play up to their superior division rival and split the annual series. With Julian Edelman officially scratched for the Sunday tilt and the Patriots having more question marks than a meth lab camper run by The Riddler, pressure on Tom Brady will be the key to the game. Brady will find the open man if the Jets defensive line doesn't get to him within a couple of seconds on each play.
Patriots to Watch
There was that one Mel Gibson movie. I didn't think it was very good. I don't like anything. I'm a Jets fan, for pete's sake. I was not meant to be happy.
This might sound ridiculous but Jimmy Garoppolo might be a player to watch if the Patriots get any significant separation in terms of score. The Patriots backup has a 90 percent completion rating in 10 attempts and could get looks to protect the aging Brady from injury to preserve him for the playoffs, but that depends heavily on the Patriots kicking the Jets collective butt early and often in the first half, making the outcome of the game a foregone conclusion.
Look for LeGarrette Blount in short and tough yardage situations. Blount is out. So don't watch him, I guess. Or do, but that would be kind of weird. Whatever floats your boat. Otherwise the New England running committee will be hit or miss running against the Jets top-5 ranked run defense.
Devin McCourty, Darrelle Revis, and Logan Ryan all have multiple picks on the season. The entire Patriots team has 15 combined interceptions on the year. Rob Ninkovich has 8 sacks on the season. Chandler Jones has 6 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Dont'a Hightower has 5 sacks and a forced fumble. Six other players have generated turnovers through fumbles, including the previously mentioned Revis and Ryan.
Winning would be improbable and virtually pointless for the Jets, while negatively impacting the teams drafting position. No jobs will be saved in Florham Park on Sunday regardless of the outcome. Winning against one of the very best teams in the NFL when the season is already lost and it does nothing but harm your future prospects would be a very New York Jets thing to do, however.
I can't root for the team to lose on a personal level, but take solace in the notion that nothing really matters at this point in the season. Rex Ryan will certainly be fired, John Idzik probably will stay at least another year, and the New York Jets enter yet another offseason with no answer to the Quarterback conundrum that has plagued them for decades.