The battle for AFC East supremacy enters Round 2 as the New England Patriots visit the New York Jets on Sunday night. The first meeting between the teams, in Foxboro, ended with a 30-21 Pats victory that New York will aim to avenge.
8:30 pm ET Sunday
New York -1.5, according to footballlocks.com. Obviously, with such a microscopic spread it basically becomes picking a winner, and at the Meadowlands that should be the Jets.
47, according to footballlocks.com. The Jets’ vaunted defense hasn’t had an easy time keeping the score low this season, so the over is (barely) a good pick.
New England LB Brandon Spikes (knee), out
New England CB Kyle Arrington (foot), questionable
New England RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), questionable
New England LB Jerod Mayo (knee), questionable
New York WR Plaxico Burress (back), probable
New York C Nick Mangold (ankle), probable
New York LB Calvin Pace (groin), probable
Fantasy Big Plays
New York WR Santonio Holmes, though also banged up with a foot injury, has been practicing all week and should have a field day with a weak New England secondary.
New England WR Wes Welker, rarely a bad start in fantasy play, lit up the Jets in Week 5 and should do well again with Pace’s injury hampering the New York pass rush.
Keys to New England Win
The Patriots have to find a way to stop Shonn Greene without loading up eight and nine men in the box, or else Mark Sanchez will eat them alive with play-action passes. On offense, another big game from Green-Ellis or another runner would help, but the key is preventing turnovers.
Keys to New York Win
With the Patriots’ linebacking corps devastated by injuries, establishing Greene and controlling the clock is a feasible strategy. Defensively, the Jets can afford to allow yardage against Tom Brady as long as they hold the Pats to FGs rather than TDs.
New England hasn’t had an easy time of it in the road half of this matchup in recent years, and that trend should continue on Sunday. The Jets are healthier and hotter (three straight wins) and should be able to grind out a narrow victory.