Friday, November 11, 2011
ESPN's Patriots-Jets prediction roundup
A roundup of how ESPN's analysts see Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game playing out:
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss: Patriots 27, Jets 23. This looks like a bad spot for the Patriots, who are going on the road on a two-game losing skid to play the improving Jets in prime time. I think the Jets have been the better team in recent weeks, but I don't think all the gloom and doom around the Patriots is reflective of a team that won't show up. I expect the Patriots' best effort and could envision a scenario where Tom Brady will play his best game of the season, the defense will rise up in the red zone again, and special teams will tighten up. I like the Jets' mental toughness, but I also like the Patriots in that area. I think they get rewarded this week for hanging tough in tough times.
* ESPNBoston.com Patriots analyst Tedy Bruschi: Patriots 21, Jets 20. You hit it on the head, Reiss! The question is, do you believe that the Patriots have enough mental toughness to end a two-game losing streak by beating a tough New York Jets team on the road? Your answer is yes and so is mine. This will be a dogfight and the Patriots will take an us-against-the-world mentality into the Meadowlands and win.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan: Jets 21, Patriots 17. The darkest hours of both Brady and Belichick's career in New England are upon us.
* ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg: Patriots 24, Jets 20. If consecutive losses didn't grab the attention of Patriots players, playing the rival Jets certainly should. This feels a lot like the typical back-against-the-wall, Pats-come-out-swinging type of game. If Tom Brady and the offense avoid bad turnovers, there's no reason why the Patriots shouldn't outslug the Jets this week. One wildcard: Can the Jets capitalize on injuries to the Patriots' defense, particularly having reestablished ground and pound vs. a dinged-up linebacking corps?
* ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Rodak: Jets 27, Patriots 14. The Patriots are walking into a hornet's nest. The Jets, having won three straight and looking for revenge for their loss in Foxborough last month, will be ready to play in prime time. After using a coverage-heavy defensive scheme last time, look for Rex Ryan to unleash the hounds on quarterback Tom Brady in the Meadowlands. This one won't be pretty, and the Patriots will limp back to New England with their first three-game losing streak since 2002.
* ESPN Boston Radio’s Adam Jones: Jets 28, Patriots 27. This is a story of two teams going in two different directions: the Jets are finding their stride while the Patriots are struggling. Plus, Rex Ryan is 2-0 against the Patriots at home. I actually expect a bounce back week of sorts for the Patriots offense, but unfortunately the Patriots defense will be their downfall (as usual).
* ESPN Boston Radio’s Andrew Brooks: Patriots 24 Jets 17. When these two teams played a month ago, the Pats defense allowed just 255 yards and held the Jets without a first down on seven of their 11 possessions. Yes, The Patriots' defense is still last in the league in pass defense but they played well for 50 minutes last week against the Giants. They'll do just enough against Mark Sanchez and Tom Brady and the offense will bounce back.
* Grantland's Bill Simmons: Patriots (+1.5) over JETS. The last time the Pats lost three in a row, I was still living in my apartment right behind the Store 24 in Charlestown and doing imitations of Joe the Alcoholic Counter Guy. Pack of Marlboro Lights, one Gatorade, one Lucky 7's scratch card, one bag of Sour Patch Kids, $13.74 out of $20, $6.26 is your change … annnnnnnnnnnd we thank you! I miss that guy. Anyway, my New England Patriots do NOT lose three in a row. No matter how many drafts we blow, no matter how many undrafted free agents and stiffs we have playing defense, we do NOT lose three in a row. Got it?
Guy In Total Denial Right Now
* NFL Live: Mark Schlereth picks the Jets and Marcellus Wiley takes the Patriots.
* ESPN experts: Seven of the eight pick the Jets to win. Only Seth Wickersham picks the Patriots.
* Sunday Countdown: Keyshawn Johnson, Tom Jackson, Cris Carter and Mike Ditka all pick the Jets.
* Madden 12 simulation: Patriots 27, Jets 24. When the Patriots and Jets knock helmets, you know you're in for a battle. And according to the "Madden" simulation, this week is no different as the two rivals trade scores for four tense quarters until Tom Brady hits Wes Welker with a touchdown pass late in the game to win it for New England.