By Danny Cox
This game is not exactly a “nothing game,” even though it is the final one of the regular season for both the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. The Jets have nothing to play for as they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention for quite a while now. New England, on the other hand, is hoping to sweep the season series against the Jets and lock up home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Jets Season Record: 5-10
The New York Jets had a lot of promise this season and had at least hoped to be more competitive in the division, but things simply didn’t work out as they had hoped. After starting out 3-2, Jets fans thought this season may be different, but they’ve gone 2-8 since that time and have been blown out in many of those contests.
Jets On Offense
Bryce Petty continues to lead this Jets team as their quarterback and he will step in for his third start of the season as New York takes on the Patriots. After being put into the line-up midway through the game against the Denver Broncos, Petty has just 312 yards on 36-of-76 passing with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Honestly, the Pats’ secondary should be able to tee off on Petty, who has struggled along with the majority of the Jets offense this season. With targets such as Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, there are plenty of opportunities for the Jets to be explosive, but it has seemed too difficult for them to get going at all.
In his 10th season, Matt Forte was expected to help out in the rushing game yet again, but he has done very little in 2017. Bilal Powell is the featured back now while Forte is having the worst season of his entire career by a huge margin.
Jets On Defense
The Jets have given up a lot of yards this season and they’re allowing close to 24 points-per-game to their opponents. Depending on whether the Patriots build up a big lead early on, the back-ups could make their way into the game to avoid any injuries and it could allow them to see how they handle a starting NFL defense.
Players such as Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, and Demario Davis make for a dangerous combination that should frighten the Patriots, but it’s just hard for the team to get it together in full. New York has a problem working as a cohesive unit with all of its main parts operating at the same time.
Jets Players To Watch: QB Bryce Petty and S Jamal Adams
While the offense is something that a number of people have seen, quarterback Bryce Petty is still rather new to the majority of the football world. While he did see action in six games last season, this will be just Petty’s third start this season and he hasn’t been able to show a whole lot as of yet. The Pats need to be ready as the Jets are hoping that Petty could be their quarterback of the future; a big win over New England could lead the way in making that a reality.
It should be no surprise that the entire Jets defense is frustrated with how the season has gone, and that is especially true for rookie Jamal Adams. Selected sixth overall in this year’s NFL Draft, Adams is still hoping to get an interception in his rookie season, but grabbing one off of Tom Brady poses no easy task. Still, the young safety shows lots of promise for a great career and he’s hoping to finish out 2017 in an impressive fashion.
The New England Patriots would really like to have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they’re not going to risk anyone’s health to get it. Right now, they’ve already clinched the division and a first-round bye while the New York Jets have nothing but pride to play for in the final game of the year. A win would be great and should be rather easy to come by, but the Pats will make sure everyone escapes unharmed.