NEW YORK JETS
Last week: 14-7 loss to Chargers
Previous three: 1-2 (win over Chiefs, losses to Saints and Broncos)
2016 record: 5-11
Coach: Todd Bowles
Offensive coordinator: John Morton
Defensive coordinator: Kacy Rodgers
The Jets have already exceeded every expectation for this season. Vegas set their projected win total for 2017 at 4.5 and they’ve been a five-win team since knocking off KC a few weeks back. But that is thanks to their lightning-hot start. When last seen by the Patriots, the Jets were 3-2. They are 2-8 since but the only time they were pummeled was their 23-0 loss to the Broncos. Bryce Petty’s been the starter the past two weeks. Christian Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016, has yet to play in an NFL game but he took first-team reps in practice on Wednesday. The biggest question surrounding the Jets is whether Todd Bowles will be back for a fourth season. The Jets have played hard for Bowles. But he’s 10-22 over the past two seasons. They have good, young talent on defense, but there have also been head-scratching decisions by Bowles during his run. A blowout for Bowles may seal his fate.
The Jets aren’t in the top 10 in a single offensive category. But wide receiver Robby Anderson (62 catches for 939 yards and seven touchdowns) has had an eye-opening season and Jermaine Kearse (60-751-5) and tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (50-357-3) have also had their moments. Bilal Powell is a competent running back.
Quarterback play is a problem. With Josh McCown lost for the season, Bryce Petty is completing just 47.4 percent of his passes and has three picks and a touchdown. He’s thrown for 312 on 76 attempts. That’s a poor YPA. The Jets also allow sacks at a good clip. They’ve allowed 43 this year. They are not closers. They’ve been outscored 137 to 64 in the fourth quarter of this season.
The Jets have beaten the Patriots twice since 2011, both games in overtime, both games at MetLife Stadium. They haven’t beaten the Patriots in a regular-season game at Gillette since Matt Cassel was the team’s quarterback in 2008.