The Jets are on the outside of the playoff picture for the seventh straight season, with their last playoff triumph being a 28-21 win at New England in the AFC divisional round on January 16, 2011. And the injuries mounted: Dont’a Hightower, Derek Rivers, Shea McClellin, Marcus Cannon, Nate Ebner, Malcolm Mitchell.
Several things became clear yesterday during the Patriots’ 26-6 win over the New York Gliders that ended the regular season exactly where New England hoped to be, which is with home field throughout the playoffs and a bye week to prepare for them.
By virtue of having a 13-3 record and owning the tiebreaker against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Patriots are the AFC’s No. 1 seed. After New York’s primary receiver Quincy Enunwa went down with a season-ending injury in August, the Jets were thought to have the NFL’s worst receiving group.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson opted to keep starting QB Nick Foles against the Cowboys, but he didn’t peform well, going 4 of 11 for 39 yards and one interception before being pulled from the action. NY is also 6-1-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 games overall. But with the Steelers now up at the half, 21-14, the Patriots need to make sure they hold on here in order to keep homefield advantage throughout the postseason. Most of the Patriots’ defense opted for long sleeves. If the Bills do escape that trip somehow, they’ll have to travel to Foxboro to face the Patriots, against whom they did not score an offensive touchdown in two games this season. “You put your best product on the field, and you try to put your best foot forward”.
“That’s all you can do”. If we’re lucky enough to get anything like a Tom Tupa Game, hopefully whoever our unlikely hero is gets a chance to finish the job.
The Patriots always seem to acclimate, always have a knack for picking up players who help when the weather turns bitterly cold. He leaves nothing to chance and, said fullback James Develin, has the team prepared for every possibility every week.
“I’m embracing it”, Lewis said of his newfound bell-cow workload.
Yes, this team has faults. “I’m putting my sleeves on”, said safety Devin McCourty. “You look back at that now and reflect, we needed all of that”. We needed all those steps.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be the team responsible for the Patriots NOT getting the number one seed?
Even the special teams had a banner day. “I used to be a guy that tried to go no sleeves but when you’ve got to go out there and play you’ve got to do what makes you comfortable”. We faced a lot of adversity this year and we persisted through it. Not Christian Hackenberg, the 2016 second-round pick who hasn’t played a down in his first two National Football League seasons.
First and foremost, anyone forced to witness yesterday’s contest should thank the founders of football that they chose to only play 60-minute games.
The last time the Jets and the Patriots met this season, it looked like a potential upset until Brady and co. were able to mount a late-game comeback. Coach Todd Bowles said after the game that Anderson suffered a concussion. “Whatever we need to do, usually it finds a way to help us in one of these games in the playoffs, and that’s huge”.