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Game Preview: Jets at Patriots

2020-GamePreview-PDC-wk17-jets

WEEK 17 · Sun 01/03 · 1:00 PM EST

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New York Jets

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Patriots

New England Patriots

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The New England Patriots host the New York Jets in the 2020 regular season finale. The Patriots defeated the Jets in the first meeting of the annual series in a 30-27 comeback win on Monday Night Football on Nov. 9. K Nick Folk connected on a 51-yard filed goal as time expired to lift New England to victory, the Patriots ninth straight win against the Jets. If the Patriots beat the Jets this week for the 10th consecutive time, it will match the third-longest streak over a single opponent in team history. The Patriots won 10 straight over the Chargers (1973-2001), 11 straight over Buffalo (1983-87) and 15 straight over Buffalo (2003-10).

The Patriots will be looking for their fifth straight series sweep over the Jets and 21st season sweep since the teams began play in 1960.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and New York Jets will meet for the second time in 2020. The Patriots beat the Jets, 30-27 on a last second, 51-yard field goal by K Nick Folk on Monday Night Football on Nov. 9. The Patriots will close the season against the Jets for the fourth time (1998, 2017 and 2018).

Last season, the Patriots earned their 20th series sweep, their fourth straight, 11th under Bill Belichick and their 13th since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994. The Patriots enter this week with nine straight wins over the Jets and with series sweeps in each of the last four seasons.

New England leads the series, 68-54-1 overall. The Patriots are 36-25-1 all-time in home games against the Jets, including 16-4 at Gillette Stadium.

The teams have played in the postseason three times – a 1985 Wild Card game, a 2006 Wild Card game and an AFC Divisional game in 2010. New England beat the Jets, 26-14, in 1985 at the Meadowlands en route to Super Bowl XX. In 2006, the Patriots defeated the Jets, 37-16, at Gillette Stadium and the Jets beat the Patriots, 28-21, in a 2010 Divisional playoff game in Foxborough.

New England is 39-16 against the Jets since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994.

New England's 68 overall victories over the Jets (including two playoff wins) are the second-most over a single opponent, trailing only the 76 all-time wins over Buffalo.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

NEW ENGLAND 68, NEW YORK 54, 1 TIE

(INCLUDING NEW ENGLAND 2, NEW YORK 1 IN PLAYOFFS)

Home Record: 36-25-1 (incl. 1-1 in playoffs)

  • Record in Foxborough: 32-19
  • Gillette Stadium: 16-4 (incl. 1-1 playoffs)
  • Foxboro Stadium: 16-15
  • Record in Boston: 4-5-1
  • Record in Birmingham, Ala.: 0-1

Road Record: 32-29 (incl. 1-0 in playoffs)

  • MetLife Stadium: 8-3
  • Giants Stadium: 17-10 (incl. 1-0 playoffs)
  • Shea Stadium: 5-14
  • Polo Grounds: 2-2

Season Sweeps:.Patriots 20 (most recent '19), Jets 14 (most recent '00)

Bill Belichick vs. N.Y. Jets: 33-12 (32-11 with New England)

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SCOUTING THE MATCHUPS

By Mike Dussault

When the Patriots Run – Edge: Jets

Without Damien Harris the last two weeks, the Patriots offense has struggled to recreate the success they had with him earlier in the year, while the loss of Rex Burkhead has also had a huge impact, leaving them to manage with Sony Michel, James White and undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor.

Michel has had some nice gains over the last two games, despite being held to just 20 carries in the two losses. His big runs have been some of the few highlights from an overall tame Patriots offense, while Cam Newton can still pick his spots to run but isn't an every-down threat with his legs.

Meanwhile, run defense is one of the Jets defensive strengths and they're coming off their most impressive performance of the year, holding the Browns to a season-low 45 yards. Nick Chubb is one of the best backs in the league and the Jets played inspired ball to keep him contained.

This very well could be where the game is won or lost, as the Patriots haven't had the same juice without Harris or Burkhead. A Harris return could turn the tables, but as currently constituted the Jets hold the upper hand.

When the Patriots Pass – Edge: Jets

The Patriots had their worst passing performance of the season against the Bills, putting up a paltry 56 yards passing. On the season they've broken 200 yards through the air just three times, and haven't cracked 130 in four of their last five games.

They've been bad this season and they're trending worse, though Newton did find a way to throw for 274 yards in the first matchup against the Jets.

Statistically, the Jets pass defense is near the bottom of the league, ranking 29th in yards, 27th in touchdowns and 28th in DVOA, but they've been good the last two weeks in holding the Rams passing offense to just 189 yards and containing Baker Mayfield to 254 passing yards while sacking him four times.

There just simply isn't much to fear about the Patriots passing attack, even for one of the worst pass defenses in the league. If ever there was an opportunity to find some semblance of a passing game, this is it, but it's still a tall task unless the Patriots totally break character.

When the Jets Run – Edge: Patriots

The Patriots run defense wasn't gashed by the Bills like they had been in recent weeks, but they're still Football Outsiders' lowest-ranked run defense in the league while allowing the 27th-most rushing yards. However, in Week 9 against the Jets, they allowed their second-best total of the season, a mere 65 rushing yards.

With Frank Gore out, the Jets will be shorthanded and forced to rely on rookie La'Mical Perine, who has just 232 rushing yards this season and a 3.6 yards-per-attempt average. Perine is coming off nine carries for 30 yards against the Browns.

The Patriots however could be shorthanded as well with key run stoppers Lawrence Guy and Ja'Whaun Bentley missing the game against the Bills and possibly unable to go against the Jets as well. Those two injuries are just the start of New England's problems as multiple players were banged up against Buffalo, including linebacker Terez Hall, run-stopping edge player Tashaun Bower, as well as captain and communication specialist Devin McCourty on the back end.

Neither team has the obvious advantage here with all the injuries and poor rankings, but the Patriots should still have enough left to contain Perine.

When the Jets Pass – Edge: Jets

Sam Darnold completed only 50 percent of his passes against the Browns, but was efficient, throwing two touchdowns and avoiding any turnovers. Jamison Crowder has 13 catches over the last two games, emerging as Darnold's favorite target. He has six touchdowns on the season, while also leading the team with 55 catches for 668 yards.

Meanwhile the Patriots pass defense had no answers for Josh Allen and the Bills. Without Stephon Gilmore, the secondary was unable to contain Stefon Diggs, while watching the Bills match the Texans season high of 244 passing yards.

The Jets are not the Bills, but Darnold is a good quarterback and one who is playing solid football right now. He hasn't thrown an interception in three games and, while his completion percentage is middling, he's giving his team a chance to win, despite taking a high number of sacks every game.

Sacks are not something the Patriots get with much frequency, failing to register one against Allen last week. If they can't get to Darnold, he'll have success and should be looking to make up for seeing ghosts last season.

Special Teams – Edge: Patriots

The only clear area of advantage for either team, the Patriots have the best special teams units in the league, led by Pro Bowlers Jake Bailey and Matthew Slater, while kicker Nick Folk hasn't missed a field goal since Week 2 (just forget about that missed extra point against the Bills).

The Jets have had a lackluster year on the teams, with a long blocked punt against the hapless Chargers standing out as one of their only key plays. Kicker Sam Ficken has been fairly reliable, making 13-of-15 field goals but missing a total of three extra points. Punter Braden Mann ranks near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories.

Given how the matchups stack up, it's clear the Patriots will need to dominate this area to boost their chances of closing out the season with the win. They have the pieces to do it.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Table inside Article
2020 REGULAR SEASON NEW ENGLAND N.Y. JETS
Record 6-8 2-13
Divisional Standings 3rd 4th
Total Yards Gained 4,832 4,129
Total Offense (Rank) 322.1 (29) 275.3 (32)
Rush Offense 145.3 (5) 104.8 (29)
Pass Offense 176.8 (30) 170.5 (32)
Points Per Game 19.9 (28) 15.3 (32)
Total Yards Allowed 5,310 5,797
Total Defense (Rank) 354.0 (15) 386.5 (25)
Rush Defense 132.8 (27) 108.4 (10)
Pass Defense 221.2 (7) 278.1 (29)
Points Allowed/Game 22.6 (11) 28.6 (27)
Possession Avg. 29:08 27:31
Sacks Allowed / Yards Lost 34/211 40/292
Sacks Made / Yards 21/138 28/163
Total Touchdowns Scored 32 24
Penalties Against / Yards 56/487 98/922
Punts / Avg. 49/49.1 77/44.3
Turnover Differential +1 (17T) +2 (14T)
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CONNECTIONS

A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

FORMER PATRIOTS

  • WR Braxton Berrios was drafted in the sixth round (210th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Patriots. He was placed on IR prior to the start of his rookie year and was released before the 2019 regular season and claimed by the Jets.
  • LB Harvey Langi made the Patriots roster as an undrafted rookie in 2017 and played one game (9/17/2017 at New Orleans) before being placed on IR on Oct. 25, 2017.
  • DLC Andre Carter – Defensive End (2011, 13)
  • Ast. HC/WRC Shawn Jefferson – Wide Receiver (1996-99)

FORMER JETS

  • DB Terrence Brooks - (2017-18)
  • K Nick Folk - (2010-16)
  • HC Bill Belichick – Ast. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator (1997-99)
  • WRC Mick Lombardi – Ast. Quarterbacks Coach (2017-18)
  • Chief of Staff Berj Najarian – Public Relations (1995-99)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR...

  • The New England rushing attack enters this week sixth in the NFL, averaging 145.3 rushing yards per game (2,180 total rushing yards), on pace for 2,325 rushing yards for the season. That would rank fourth in team annals behind the 3,165 rushing yards in 1978, 2,948 in 1976 and 2,605 in 1983.
  • The Patriots are averaging 4.61 yards per rushing attempt (473 rushes for 2,180 yards). If the team holds that pace, it would mark the fourth-highest average in team history.
  • New England enters Week 17 with 20 rushing touchdowns on the season, tied for seventh-most in team history. The Patriots look to improve that ranking this week.
  • The Patriots punt coverage team has allowed 12 punt returns this season, tied for second-least in a 16-game season behind their own record of 11 set in 2008.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Tom McCarthy will handle play-by-play duties with Jay Feely as the color analyst. The game will be produced by Debbie Boulac and directed by Chris Svendsen.

SATELLITE RADIO: SIRIUS: 108 (NYJ), 136 (NE) | XM: 385 (NYJ), 230 (NE)

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 35 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

For an expanded look at how to watch and stream this week's game please check out our full broadcast guide.

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