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slides: What to Watch For: Patriots vs Jets

Sunday, October 15, 2017

 

Mike Gillislee

The New England Patriots (3-2) hit the road this week to face the (3-2) New York Jets in a game for first place in the AFC East.

“You're playing in the division. This week happens to be for first place. That really doesn't matter. We've got a lot of time left in this season, but it's a chance to move a game ahead and put a division team behind you a little bit, and then let alone it's the Jets versus Patriots. There's really no love lost in this game,” said Patriots safety Devin McCourty during his press conference.

The Patriots are coming off a 19-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, while the Jets are coming off a win over the Cleveland Browns.

After starting the season 0-2, the Jets have won three straight games.

“I mean, I think 3-2 and they're fighting. I think they've played really well. I think they have a good team, and I think every time we play down there, it's been a tough game. In the last five years, there have been a bunch of tough games. That's what we're expecting,” said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during his Wednesday press conference.

Kick-off is set for 1 p.m.

Patriots vs Jets

The Patriots and Jets will meet for the 117th time since the series began in 1960.

The Patriots lead the all-time series, 61-54-1. However, New England is 28-29 on the road.

Last season, the Patriots swept the jets with a 22-17 win in New York and a 41-3 win at Gillette Stadium.

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Things to Watch for: Patriots vs. Jets

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Tom Brady

As was reported earlier this week, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is suffering from an AC joint sprain in his left, non-throwing shoulder. 

According to NBC Sports, Brady suffered the injury during the Patriots loss to the Carolina Panthers on October 1.

Brady then re-aggravated the injury in the game against Tampa Bay.

When asked about it in his press conference earlier this week Brady said, "I'm good. I'm not worried about it." 

When pressed further on the injury, he responded, "I'll be there Sunday. Don't worry about that. I'll be there." 

According to NFL stats, Brady has been sacked 16 times so far this season and hit 33 times. 

The 33 hits are tied for 7th most in the NFL, while the 16 sacks are eighth most in the league.

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Offensive Line

As mentioned in the above slide, Brady has been sacked 16 times and hit 33 times this season. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Marcus Cannon has given up four sacks, Nate Solder three, Joe Thuney and David Andrews two each and Shaq Mason just one. 

Brady is given blame for four of those sacks. 

"I think those guys have done a great job, I really do. I mean, I think they're fighting their butts off on every play. The ball's got to come out on time and find the open guy and cut it loose. You know, we've got to do a good job of that at the quarterback position. I love that group up front," said Brady.

The Jets defense has struggled to get to the quarterback this season, registering only six sacks and 17 total quarterback hits. 

However, the Buccaneers only had one sack on the season prior to last week's game and they had no problem getting to Brady. 

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Kearse vs Butler

One of the biggest matchups in the game will be Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse against Malcolm Butler. 

So far this season, Kearse has hauled in 22 catches on 28 targets for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Jets quarterback Josh McCown has a passer rating of 145.8 when targeting him. 

Butler's up and down season continues. 

Last week, he was primarily on DeSean Jackson. Jackson caught three of the six passes thrown to him for 75 yards while Butler was covering him. 

Pro Football Focus ranks Butler as the 39th best cornerback in the NFL at this point in the season out of 109 ranked cornerbacks.

The last time Butler and the Patriots saw Kearse, he nearly won Seattle the Super Bowl. 

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Running backs

The New York Jets come in with one of the worst run defenses in the league meaning the Patriots running backs could be in for a big day. 

The Jets give up an average of 4.6 yards per carry and four of their previous five opponents have run for 190, 180, 175 and 140 yards respectively. 

Mike Gillislee has led the Patriots rushing attack with 69 carries for 246 yards and four touchdowns. 

James White has followed up with 20 carries for 76 yards. White also has 29 catches on the season. 

Dion Lewis is third with 19 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown. 

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Jonathan Jones

Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe have been ruled out of the game with a concussion and groin injury respectively meaning that Jonathan Jones will likely make the start. 

Jones is in his second season with the Patriots out of Auburn.

So far this season, he has played in all five games and has recorded three passes defensed and eight tackles. 

 
 

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