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New York Jets at New England Patriots, Week 17 preview: What you need to know

Sam Darnold, Cam Newton
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Jets wrap up the 2020 season when they take on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

The New York Jets wrap up their disappointing 2020 season this Sunday in Foxborough, MA. If recent reports from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero are true, this will be Adam Gase‘s final game as New York Jets head coach.

Jets, Patriots
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Where, When, All-Time

Already locked into the No. 2 spot of the 2021 NFL draft, the Jets can end the season on a three-game winning streak. Interestingly, the last one is less of a chore than the previous two teams.

Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots come into the contest with a paltry 6-9 record. Eliminated from playoff contention, it’ll be the “Nothing Bowl,” something a Jets-Pats game can rarely be labeled.

The last time the Jets and Pats faced one another in a season in which both teams were playing for nothing had to be in 1999. The 2000 Pats finished 5-11, but Al Groh’s Jets were in the race until Week 17’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

New England holds the all-time record, 68-54-1, mainly thanks to a two-decade run led by Tom Brady.

The Jets will wear their all-whites for the final game.

Odds (Sportsbook)

  • Money line: Patriots -160 | Jets +140
  • Spread: Patriots -3 (-110) | Jets +3 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 39 (O: -110, U: -110)

The spread is just three points, which usually represents the home-field advantage number. Suddenly, the Jets are garnering the respect of the oddsmakers.

Interestingly, the over/under resembles an NFL game of the 1990s. It’s deserved, however, when thinking about both offenses.

Injury Report

New York Jets, New England Patriots, Week 17 Injury Report
New York Jets Communications

La’Mical Perine will miss the game after he became the first Jet to test positive for COVID-19. Luckily, nobody else was impacted by the contract tracing conducted earlier in the week.

Unfortunately, Frank Gore will also miss the game. This means Ty Johnson is likely to receive the bulk of the carries.

Blessuan Austin (illness), Javelin Guidry (knee) and Jeff Smith (shoulder) are all listed as questionable.

For the Pats, center David Andrews (calf), running back Damien Harris (ankle) and guard Shaquille Mason (calf) are out, while a plethora of players are deemed questionable—in classic Belichick style.

Keys to the Game

Let Ty Johnson loose

Feed Ty Johnson the ball as much as possible. The Pats are ranked 27th in run defense, a stark contrast to their seventh-ranked pass defense.

Considering New England’s strength is the secondary, Mekhi Becton and the offensive line should be up for this one.

New York Jets, Jets X-Factor

Challenge Cam Newton

Cam Newton’s difficulties throwing the ball aren’t a secret. He simply doesn’t look right, often shot putting the ball when throwing downfield. Frank Bush needs to challenge the man to throw it further than 10 yards on every down, especially early.


  • New York Jets 24, New England Patriots 16

Wait, what? A three-game winning streak to end the season after a 13-0 start? While it’s not 2020 anymore, the bulk of the season took place in that crazy year.

The feel-good vibes of the Jets are more of a challenge than anything Belichick can offer at the moment. The Jets will run for well over 100 yards and Sam Darnold will enjoy modest success behind a solid rushing performance.

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