BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots were 19-point favorites over the Dolphins — in Miami — last weekend. They covered easily, trouncing the Dolphins 43-0.
Now they’re heading into a home matchup with the 0-2 New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. The 0-2 Jets who will send out their third-string quarterback, Luke Falk. The 0-2 Jets who have scored a grand total of one offensive touchdown in their first two games, against a defense that hasn’t allowed a touchdown yet this season.
To the shock of no one, the Patriots head into Week 3’s tilt with the Jets as 20-plus-point favorites, with the spread up to 23.5 points in some places. Fans are in love with the giant point spread, but how about the players in the New England locker room? How do they feel about being such heavy favorites for a second straight week?
They don’t really care.
“I didn’t know that,” safety Devin McCourty said when alerted to the massive point spread this weekend. “I don’t think any of us pay attention or see that stuff anyway. For us, we understand, especially guys who have been here, how it goes. For one, we’re playing in the division against a team that always plays us tough. Now you put [head coach Adam] Gase there, he’s beat us at least one time in each of the last four or five seasons. That’s how we see things because we’re involved in this.
“We don’t see point spreads and all that nonsense,” added McCourty. “We see what we went through and how the game is played.”
McCourty was a little bit off on Gase’s record. The new Jets head coach beat the Pats once in each of the last two seasons when he was in charge of the Dolphins, with both wins in Miami. He is 2-4 overall as a head coach against New England, with another two losses against the Patriots when he was the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.
But none of that will matter on Sunday, and neither will the gigantic point spread. Not to the Patriots.
“It’s the National Football League. There are a lot of great coaches and players in this league, and they certainly have plenty of those over there,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said New England’s AFC East foe. “When you’re playing a game in the division, all bets are off. Records don’t matter, what has happened the first two weeks of the season doesn’t matter. It will be a very competitive contest with a lot at stake.
“I don’t know what the line says or any of that stuff. All I know is we have to have a good week of preparation these next few days,” he continued. “We’re expecting their best, expecting it to be very competitive and a tight ballgame.”
We’ll see how close the Jets can keep it on Sunday, but it should be noted that the Patriots are 0-4 at covering a spread over 20 points. They did, however, win each of those four games, which is all that really matters to those playing on Sunday.