BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots finally get back to work this week after their bye, which always feels like it lasts a little bit longer than just a single week. And they’re about to embark on an AFC East-heavy close to their regular-season schedule.
Four of the Patriots’ final six games will be played against divisional opponents, and that begins this Sunday in New Jersey with a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Jets.
The Patriots are 7-3, and the Jets are 3-7, but we’ve learned over the years that the Jets can never be underestimated when the Patriots are in town.
Here’s how the WBZ-TV and CBSBoston.com sports team sees this game playing out on Sunday.
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
Is there any question here? The Patriots are due to bounce back, coming off their bye week — especially after losing the way they did to Tennessee. The Jets are having trouble figuring out who their starting quarterback is going to be. They are riding a four-game losing streak and can’t get out of their own way.
This game may be perfect for the Pats to kick it in gear and really get going as they head toward the playoffs.
Patriots 34, Jets 14
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
The Pats have had two weeks off to figure out what happened in the loss at Tennessee and to get themselves right for the final six games.
Expect Brady to come out laser-focused. He’s been criticized sharply — again — after a subpar performance vs the Titans. Pats are also as healthy as they’ve been in a while.
The only factor may be if Josh McCown plays over Sam Darnold. As we’ve seen, McCown can be a dangerous passer.
Patriots 34, Jets 17
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
Everyone has something to be thankful for this week, and the Patriots should be thankful that they get the Jets after the bye.
I don’t expect this to be an easy game — New York plays the Pats well at MetLife Stadium. But New England should be able to move the ball and contain the Jets’ big play ability.
Rob Gronkowski should find his way back in the offense and Sony Michel should be close to his normal self.
This is a big stretch for the Pats and they have all said they are determined to start this right.
Patriots 24, Jets 10
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
The Jets are so bad. So unfathomably bad. The worst. The pits. Dreadful.
Patriots 41, Jets 11
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
For whatever reason, things are usually difficult for the Patriots when they visit the Jets. Their average margin of victory at MetLife Stadium the last three seasons sits at just six, though they’ve won all three of those games.
The Patriots have been a horrible road team this year, but the Jets have been downright horrible. They’re in an absolute nosedive, riding a four-game losing streak as they come off their bye. They’ve been outscored 115-43 in those four losses.
It would be in New England’s best interest to get out in front early, and the Jets have been letting their opposition do just that all season long. They’ve been outscored 59-24 in the opening quarter, finding the end zone just three times.
Having Rob Gronkowski back should help the New England offense round into shape, and having the Jets on the other side should help the New England defense look like an actual defense.
Patriots 31, Jets 10
Tune in to Patriots-Jets on Sunday at 1 p.m. on WBZ! Coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, and it continues after the game with Patriots Fifth Quarter on MyTV38!