Week 17 of the NFL season has the 4-11 New York Jets coming off a tough loss against the Green Bay Packers in which Sam Darnold played his best game of the season. Having been eliminated from the 2018 NFL playoffs, this Jets season is interesting for the fans mostly for the development of Darnold, so his recent improvements have been a gratifying turn of events. For the second straight week Darnold squares off against a future Hall of Fame quarterback, this time Tom Brady, when the Jets take on the New England Patriots.
The Jets come into this game hurting, with starting wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse out for the game, leaving only Robby Anderson as an NFL caliber wide receiver available for today’s game. In addition the Jets have lost starting running back Isaiah Crowell, starting right tackle Brandon Shell, starting tight end Neal Sterling, starting safety Marcus Maye, starting guard James Carpenter and starting running back Bilal Powell for the season to injuries, making this Jets team a depleted group, particularly on offense, where they weren’t that talented even at full strength, going into the last game of the 2018 season.
The New England Patriots come into this game already AFC East champions for the zillionth time in the Brady/Belichick era. Often at this time of year the Patriots have wrapped up a number one seed and have nothing to play for other than pride. This year, however, a first round bye is still up for grabs. Combine that with a Patriots team that has a history of not resting starters going into the playoffs and Bill Belichick’s pathological hatred for the entire Jets organization and we can be pretty certain the Patriots won’t be an easy opponent today. The Patriots have been uncharacteristically vulnerable this year, but they still have a perfect 7-0 record at home, so the Jets have their work cut out for them today. An unlikely Jets upset would be fun, although it would hurt the Jets 2019 draft position.
It’s the Jets and the Patriots renewing a bitter, if one-sided, rivalry. Leave your comments in the section cleverly marked “comments” below. Enjoy the game everybody.