Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 17 matchup against the New York Jets.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 31, Jets 17
The Patriots are the NFL's only undefeated team at home this season (7-0), and they have talked this week about approaching the finale as a playoff-type game because of what is at stake: With a victory, they will earn a first-round bye for the ninth consecutive season. As Tom Brady said in one interview, a bye is essentially the same as winning in the playoffs, which is hard to do. They figure to work hard to change up their looks on Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 34, Jets 17
Can the Jets give coach Todd Bowles a winning send-off? Don't bet on it. Bowles, who likely will be fired Monday, is getting a lot of effort out of his players, but effort won't be enough to upset a motivated Patriots team. Rookie QB Sam Darnold has the NFL's highest QBR over the past three games, but he probably won't have receivers Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse. That means WR Robby Anderson will draw extra coverage, causing the offense to bog down.
Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots
Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots
Molly Qerim, ESPN: Patriots
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 33, Jets 16
The Patriots can lock up the second seed with a victory. The Jets are playing out the string, which is a big edge for the Pats. Sam Darnold has played well for the Jets lately, but I think he will run into problems here. The Patriots will win this game and earn the bye.
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 33, Jets 17
An unlikely Super Bowl march continues with an easy win against a Jets team that can’t wait for Tom Brady to finally go away.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 30, Jets 20
The Patriots just need to win to earn a bye week, and they’ll do just that.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Jets 16
Similar game plan as last week with lots of Sony Michel.
Andy Hart, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 30, Jets 17
Much like last week’s win over the Bills, this one may not be dominant but New England will be in relative control all afternoon as it tries to build momentum heading into the postseason.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 27, Jets 17
Had the Jets not collapsed at home against Green Bay last week, losing in overtime after jumping out to a huge lead over the Pack, I might have said they would come to Foxborough and give their best effort. However, something tells me they’re now just ready for yet another miserable season of theirs to end. I don’t anticipate the Jets putting up much of a fight. This game should play out similarly to last week’s meeting with the Bills. New England wins and secures the No. 2 playoff seed in the AFC.
Don Banks, Patriots.com NFL Columnist:
Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has been getting it done of late, and he’ll keep New York in the game for a while. But the Patriots will find a little more rhythm in their struggling passing game and do what it takes to finish 11-5 and secure a mind-boggling ninth consecutive first-round bye.