Marcus Maye, Cam Newton, MetLife Stadium
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Bill Belichick’s 2-5 New England Patriots visit MetLife Stadium for a Monday Night Football contest against the 0-8 New York Jets in Week 9.

Are you ready for some football?

Usually, the question mark doesn’t belong. Hank Williams Jr.’s opening usually suffices with an exclamation point, but the New York Jets and New England Patriots are doing everything they can to ensure the classic sentence ends in uncertainty.

New York Jets, New England Patriots, Week 9
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Where, When, All-Time

How the mighty have fallen. With Tom Brady In Tampa (a man who’s having his own recent issues), Bill Belichick’s team comes into the contest with a subpar 2-5 record. An early decent start with Cam Newton has been overtaken by a four-game losing streak.

The Jets will break out the Stealth Black jerseys for this one.

Odds (Sportsbook)

  • Money line: Patriots -480 | Jets +380
  • Spread: Patriots -10 (-110) | Jets +10 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 42 (O: -110, U: -110)

To bet on the Jets is to literally smack your head against the wall repeatedly. At this point, don’t even think about putting money down on the 0-8 Jets, no matter the line.

Injury Report

Adam Gase announced on Saturday that Sam Darnold would miss his third game of the season. This now means he’s missed at least three games in each of his first three NFL seasons.

Darnold joins Quinnen Williams, Sam Ficken and Vyncint Smith as the doubtfuls heading into the game. Blake Cashman and Trevon Wesco were ruled out early.

Joe Flacco will get the start. Fortunately for the veteran, it appears as though the team’s top three receivers—Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman—will all play together for the first time this season.

For New England, young receiver N’Keal Harry and running back J.J. Taylor will miss the game.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley have also been ruled out.

Keys to the Game

Stop the designed quarterback rushing attack

When Cam Newton and the Pats offense was rolling early in the season, it was all generated from a potent ground game that used the quarterback. From a variety of zone reads such as the inverted power veer, defenses had trouble stopping the big quarterback when he ran the ball.

It quickly became obvious that the older Newton wouldn’t be able to handle such a dose of carries throughout an entire season. This lead to an uncomfortable number of pass attempts and a futile offensive effort.

Gregg Williams must have his defense responsibility-focused for this one.

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Pound the ball

While Belichick’s defense is solid, the unit’s 28th-ranked rushing defense doesn’t inspire most onlookers. Pounding the ball—especially behind Mekhi Becton—should be the Jets’ early intent in this game.

Prediction

  • New York Jets 20, New England Patriots 28

Let’s give the New York Jets the benefit of the doubt and give them two touchdowns at home. Predicting one touchdown for this offense is tough, but when Belichick is involved, nothing is quite that simple.

Cam Newton and the Pats offense will do just enough on the ground against the Jets not-ready-for-primetime defense.


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