BOSTON (CBS) — It wasn’t long ago that there was 16-0 talk surrounding the New England Patriots, and 0-16 jokes being made about the New York Jets.
How things can change in six weeks. Both the Patriots and Jets are 3-2 and tied atop the AFC East (along with the Bills, too) heading into Sunday’s showdown at MetLife Stadium.
The Patriots took both games against the Jets last season, but their rival always makes it tough on them whenever they pay a visit to New Jersey. Since the famous Butt Fumble game on Thanksgiving night in 2012, the Pats are 2-2 against the Jets on the road, with those two wins by a total of just six points. Both Jets victories were hard-fought overtime wins.
The Patriots, as much as they’ve struggled to start the season, are the better team and should be 4-2 come late Sunday afternoon. But you just never know when these two teams get together in the Garden State. Here’s how the CBS Boston sports team sees Sunday’s game going down:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots went undefeated on the road last year and although they may not repeat that this season, they are already 2-0 away from Gillette and looking to remain road warriors on Sunday in New Jersey.
Both the Pats and Jets are 3-2 with first place on the line. Even though Tom Brady missed practice this week with a shoulder injury, it’s still the Jets. Enough said.
Patriots 34, Jets 21
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
The Patriots have had over a week to recover from early season issues, plus get some rest. They have started to figure some things out on defense as well.
The Jets are banged up at running back which could make them one-dimensional. Brady and company should do enough on offense to get their fourth win of the season.
Patriots 31, Jets 17
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
There is a lot going into this weekend’s game between the Pats and the Jets. This is New England’s first AFC East game of the season and both teams come in at 3-2, tied for first in the division.
The Jets aren’t playing bad, considering they weren’t supposed to win any games this season. They have played physical on both sides of the ball.
Playing last Thursday, the Pats have had some time off to deal with injuries and maybe put a game plan together that doesn’t involve Brady getting lit up like a Christmas tree.
I think this will be a tough game but New England comes away with the victory in the end. Brady will become the winningest quarterback in NFL regular season history, and the Patriots will start to separate themselves from the pack.
Patriots 24, Jets 20
Adam Kaufman, 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ NewsRadio 1030
The Patriots swept their series with the Jets last year and it’s hard to believe the story will be any different in 2017 with Josh McCown at quarterback, but we can’t ignore the Pats are just 28-29 all-time on the road against Gang Green, New York’s shockingly won three in a row, the club possesses a potent front-seven, and New England’s banged up – most especially Tom Brady.
But, to narrow the sample, Brady’s 23-6 lifetime against the Jets in the regular season, he’s on the cusp of becoming the NFL’s all-time winningest QB (against the club coach Bill Belichick hates most!) and, with each passing week, he’s getting more comfortable with his new receivers. Plus, most anticipate Rob Gronkowski will play after missing last week’s visit to Tampa with a thigh injury.
Will it be easy? Rarely is at MetLife or even in Foxborough but, typically, those game-days end with a Pats win. With the defense and in particular those in the secondary taking a step forward last time out, it’d be foolish to suspect this will go any other way.
Patriots 31, Jets 13
Mike “Sarge” Riley, 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ NewsRadio 1030
Make some noise if you had both the Patriots and Jets at 3-2 entering this week!
That’s what I thought.
The “mini bye week” for the Patriots will work in their favor on the short road trip to New Jersey, but you can never count out the Jets — especially at MetLife. They usually make it a dog fight with the Patriots, no matter what the two teams look like, when they square off on their home field.
If Gronk isn’t back to 100 percent with his thigh, then I like Chris Hogan to score for the sixth consecutive game. Regardless, get ready for a James White kind of day on the ground and in the short passing game.
Is this the game the Pats defense clicks? It might be the first step in the right direction; I think they’ll contain the Jets and Stephon Gilmore will finally get on the same page after a few extra days off (hopefully spent buried in his playbook).
Much like last week in Tampa, this one won’t be easy or pretty. But the Pats prevail.
Patriots 21, Jets 17
Tune in to Patriots-Jets Sunday afternoon on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame begins on 98.5FM at 10am with Patriots Preview, with full postgame coverage after the game. Tune in to Patriots GameDay on WBZ-TV at 11:30am, with Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38 following the game.