NY Jets @ New England
Recommendation: NYJ +22.5
Cover Probability: 60.18%
Cover Edge: 14.88%
New York Jets:
-QB Sam Darnold (mono) is OUT indefinitely.
-QB Trevor Siemian (ankle) was injured week 2 and is on IR.
-WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) was injured week 2.
-WR Quincy Enunwa (neck) is on season-ending IR.
-TE Chris Herndon (suspension) is OUT weeks 1 – 4.
-DE Brandon Copeland (suspension) is OUT weeks 1 – 4.
-DE Jordan Jenkins (calf) was injured week 2.
-DT Quinnen Williams (ankle) was INACTIVE week 2.
-LB C.J. Mosley (groin) was INACTIVE week 2.
New England Patriots:
-WR N’Keal Harry (ankle) was placed on IR (return designation) before the start of the season.
-TE Ben Watson (suspension) is OUT weeks 1 – 4.
-C David Andrews (illness) is on season-ending IR.
-RT Marcus Cannon (shoulder) was injured week 1 and was INACTIVE week 2. He did travel with the team and appeared to be a game time decision.
-LT Isaiah Wynn (foot) was injured week 2 and is on IR (return designation).
First, some housekeeping notes. The model doesn’t factor in injuries, so it doesn’t know that Sam Darnold is out after putting his tongue where it doesn’t belong (assuming). That said, even with conservative injury adjustments we’re still looking at a 8-9% edge, so that’s why we’re recommending this.
When the Jets have the ball:
The quarterback situation in New York is less than ideal. It started with Sam Darnold, who developed cooties (mono) from kissing this girl:
Behind Darnold is Trevor Siemian, who suffered a season ending ankle injury just 18 snaps into last Monday’s game. In comes 2018 6th round draft pick Luke Falk, who threw his first NFL pass last Monday night. Falk actually played well, completing 80% of his passes with 7.9 YPA and 198 yards. The bad news for Falk is he’s playing behind a bad offensive line, but he at least responded by getting rid of the ball quickly — averaging 2.43 seconds to pass.
The Jets also lost WR Quincy Enunwa to a neck injury and haven’t been able to get newly acquired Demaryius Thomas on the field. That leaves Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder as the top two wideouts. Anderson is a stretch the field type of receiver where Crowder typically takes the shorter routes out of the slot.
The most dangerous weapon the Jets have is Le’Veon Bell, who also happens to be the second most targeted receiver on the team (behind Crowder). Though he’s played well as a receiver, Bell is only averaging 3.4 YPA as a runner. Naturally, we’d expect that to improve, but things will be difficult behind this line.
The Patriots have been a menace on defense, given up 3 points total in the first two weeks of the season. Their biggest weakness is their lack of pass rush — it was a problem last year and they lost their best edge rushers in free agency (Trey Flowers and Adrian Clayborn). Though they brought in Michael Bennett and Jamie Collins to help, the two collectively have 6 total pressures on the season.
The biggest issue teams have had against the Patriots is their secondary, which is arguably the most talented in the league. Stephon Gilmore was PFF’s top graded corner last year, and he appears to have picked off right where he left off — he silenced JuJu Smith-Schuster before garbage time week 1, then caught more passes (1) than Dolphins (0) when receivers he was defended were targeted. Gilmore should shadow Robby Anderson, essentially following him all over the field. That will likely leave Jason McCourty on Josh Bellamy, and Jonathan Jones on Jamison Crowder. With Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung doing work at safety, it’s an extremely difficult group to pass on. We’ll see how the kid does.
When New England has the ball:
42 year old Tom Brady is, in his own words, #stillhere. Brady has been sharp to start the year, completed 68.8% of his passes for 605 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 picks. The biggest challenge for Brady and the Patriots is their offensive line. Projected to be a top unit in the league, they lost center David Andrews for the year before the season started and had to place LT Isaiah Wynn on IR after he injured his toe last week. RT Marcus Cannon was also injured week 1 and was inactive last week, though it appears he has a shot at playing Sunday.
The skill positions are a different story. Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Phillip Dorsett are all capable of contributing in big ways. Their backfield has been a mixture of Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, with James White coming in as more of a pass catcher than a runner. Brady likes to get rid of the ball quickly, which is pretty easy to do when you have that many options.
On defense, the Jets will primarily try to get pressure from the outside with Tarell Basham and Henry Anderson, and inside with Leonard Williams. Last week they were without their star linebacker CJ Mosley, and he isn’t practicing to start the week. That could be a big loss against a Patriots team that likes to use their running backs as receivers.
The Jets secondary is a bit of a mess. They’ve officially benched CB Trumaine Johnson, who they’re paying 14.5 million a year. They’ll roll out Daryl Roberts, Brian Poole, and Nate Hariston at corner, which second year phenom Jamal Adams anchoring the defense at safety.
Keep it within 3 scores, boys.
That’s it for now, bitches.