|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
|The Pats dispatched the Jets 38-14 way back in Week 1 of the season.(Courtesy of NFL.com)|
The Game: New York Jets (3-10) at New England Patriots (13-0)
The Place: Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass
The Time: 1:00pm
The Channel: CBS
The Skinny: How much will they win by. In light of a normal preview, I’ll use this space to beg the question on just how much the Patriots will win by.
This juicy rivalry was one of the nastiest in the NFL even before the Jets – their head coach Eric Mangini in particular – have humiliated the Patriots with the Spygate scandel. They’ve forced the calling into question of their three Super Bowl titles
and have put Pats head coach Bill Belichick in an even less acceptable light in the eyes of the country.
The Pats in turn have seemingly used Spygate as unending motivation. Crushing opponent after opponent the Pats have been on a collision course with a perfect regular season. To accomplish the goal, the hapless Jets stand in the path. The Jets have been very bad this season and don’t seem to have any hope hanging with the Patriots. Chad Pennington has come and gone, Thomas Jones has been less than super and the defense has been disappointing. The Pats are hitting on all cylinders and have some personal and team-wide records within grasp this week. Tom Brady needs four TD passes to tie Peyton Manning’s single season record and Randy Moss needs just three TD catches to tie Jerry Rice’s single season mark. The team is also desperately close to the overall scoring and team touchdown single season records.
If the weather was perfect the Patriots would probably score at will against the Jets. But with howling winds, snow and eventually freezing rain, the passing game will be limited. The Jets cannot stop the Pats running game – as unimportant as it is – and Patriots Cleo Lemon won’t be able to move the football.
I think it is a little hasty to predict (even in good weather) that the Pats would score in the 50s or even 60s. Everyone says the Patriots ran up the score against the Bills and Redskins and they scored 50 because of that and because every break seemed to go their way. Breaks are not only from officials but clock management and weather. I don’t see a possibility of a Jets victory, but I do feel with the weather and the Jets a very prideful team, we could see a lot of Gang Green running the football to keep the Pats offense off the field, even if it means surrendering field position. Don’t get your hopes up for a 55-3 win. Wait for next week.
Patriots 31, Jets 20