Diamond Sportsbook betting line – Patriots -3.5, 46 O/U
Tom Brady made his much anticipated debut behind center for the New England Patriots last week. While many anticipated the Patriots offense to explode returning to one of the best offenses in the NFL, it was quite the opposite.
The Patriots were outplayed by the Buffalo Bills for four quarters and Brady was not as sharp as expected at times. Of course, Brady still finished with great numbers throwing for 378 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick.
However, the Patriots were not the dominant presence as expected. The Patriots will now take the road traveling down to meet the New York Jets in an AFC East matchup.
Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez also had a much anticipated debut. The NFL draft’s No. 5 overall pick came out firing completing his first touchdown pass of his career early in the second quarter on a 30 yard completion to Chansi Stuckey.
Sanchez would end the game with 272 yards as the Jets rolled over the Texans 24-7. However, both teams know that this week’s matchup is of higher importance battling division foes. Last year, the Jets were very strong out of the gates before fading during the second half of the season. However, they will try to knock off a huge win when the AFC favorites in the New England Patriots come to town.
The Patriots have had their share of success against the Jets winning the last 11 out of 13 straight up over New York. The Jets were able to take down New England in their second meeting last year in a 34-31 overtime thriller. However, with Brady back the Patriots will be difficult to bring down once again.
The Jets ranked a pitiful 29th against the pass last year giving up over 235 yards per game. The Jets defense must be better against the New England offense this weekend. The front seven on defense is very good and they managed 41 sacks last season. Considering DE Shaun Ellis is back and the solid linebackers in the heart of the defense, the Jets rush defense should be fine with Rex Ryan now overlooking the defense.
New England will head into the contest looking to light up the scoreboard. If they can get the offense rolling, it will force rookie Mark Sanchez to try and keep pace with the Jets offense which could play right into the hands of the Patriots. Randy Moss and Wes Welker need no introduction and will lead a talented group of wide outs.
While both players are very effective, the Patriots have plenty of other receivers who can make plays for the offense. Look for tight end Ben Watson to be a force as well especially down towards the goal line.
The Patriots running game was non existent for the team last week racking up just 73 yards on the ground and that could be an issue of the Jets are to start controlling the clock. Still, the passing attack should have the edge if the turnovers can be avoided.
Speaking of time possession, the Jets dominated the clock in their win against the Texans. New York controlled the clock for roughly 40 out of 60 minutes in their win over Houston. The Jets success on the ground played a large role in aiding the ball control.
Thomas Jones had a solid 2008 campaign and is off to another great start. Jones carried the ball 20 times equaling 107 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s victory. Also, tailback Leon Washington got plenty of touches to get into the mix carrying the ball 15 times for 60 yards.
New York totaled 190 yards as a team on the ground and if they can have equal success on the ground it will accomplish one main objective this Sunday in keeping the New England offense off the field.
The Patriots on the other hand were just average against the run last season allowing 108 yards per game last year. Unfortunately, those numbers could be similar this season. The Patriots managed just 31 sacks last season and were not near as effective up front from years past.
The Patriots also traded Mike Vrabel, who contributed to four sacks last year. Only Richard Seymour and Adalius Thomas had more sacks. The Patriots will need some guys to step up on the defensive front. The secondary will be very good especially with the addition of Leigh Bodden.
However, the Jets will try and have their success on the ground meaning the rush defense will have to be priority number one. If they can stop the run, Sanchez will throw some interceptions against a talented secondary.
Pick – The Patriots will not blow the Jets out and return to scoring 50 points overnight. However, they should be able to take care of the spread in this one. Take NE -3.5