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NFL Betting: Jets vs. Patriots Thursday Night Preview

Posted by Stan Jenkins on 10/16/2014 2:17:27 PM

The New York Jets didn’t play that poorly against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but that still didn’t mean they won. This team has to be able to pick up a win soon, or Rex Ryan’s gone.

New York Jets @ New England Patriots – Thursday, October 16

The New York Jets, after getting absolutely crushed by the San Diego Chargers a week earlier, could have folded everything up against the defending AFC champion Denver Broncos this past Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets barely even crossed the middle of the field on offense against San Diego, playing one of the worst games to date in this NFL season. With Peyton Manning and the Broncos returning to the site of where they lost by 35 points to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, many felt that Denver would bomb the Jets to smithereens. That didn’t happen.

The Jets and coach Rex Ryan’s defense limited Denver to 10 points in the first half of Sunday’s game. Then New York, after falling behind 24-3 in the third quarter, shut out Denver’s offense in the fourth quarter and got the ball back multiple times when trailing by only seven points (24-17). Denver did intercept Jet quarterback Geno Smith for a late touchdown to make the score 31-17, but New York fought Denver very hard, giving the Broncos reason to sweat the outcome of the game in the fourth quarter. That’s a lot better than many Jets fans expected heading into this game, and it’s a lot more uncomfortable than what a lot of Denver fans were prepared to see. New York’s defense can be good, and when it is, the Jets are very tough. New England knows this, because the Patriots were knocked out of the 2010 NFL playoffs (in January of 2011) by a Jets team that maxed out on defense in the divisional playoff round. The Jets, under Ryan, have ruined Patriots’ seasons before.

Coming off a short week, New England might be the much superior team, but the Patriots could be just as tired as the Jets are. New England has certainly gotten better over the past two weeks, but playing a second game in five days could leave Tom Brady with a little bit of fatigue, perhaps complicating matters for the Patriots as they try to bury the AFC East midway through the season.

However, the part that’s still hard for the Jets to figure out or deal with is their offense. When will Geno Smith become the better quarterback the team is hoping for? Michael Vick is sitting on the bench, and yet Rex Ryan sticks with the young kid as the losses pile up. If Vick is given a chance to start this game, New York’s odds would improve, but Ryan doesn’t figure to rock the boat like that, at least not yet. You might see New England struggle in the first half of this game, but if the Jets’ offense doesn’t pick up, New York really doesn’t have any place to go in this one. The Patriots should be the pick.

Pick: Patriots -9.5

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