By Charles Jay
You know, the New York press can be very tough on a player, coach or owner. But you know, they’re not always looking for the negative. In fact, they LOVE to get excited about their sports franchises. And right now they are excited about the New York Jets, for this week anyway, as they line up to face the New England Patriots in a Monday night game that begins at 8:15 PM ET.
It wil be televised on ESPN, and if you’re a BetAnySports patron, you can keep the action going throughout the game as you take advantage of what is available from Live Betting Ultra.
The return of Sam Darnold to the lineup, after a bout of mononucleosis, has created a whole new atmosphere around the Jets’ camp – and in the press as well. After Darnold threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yarder, to beat the Dallas Cowboys, the headlines were effusive, to say the least:
“Jetacular – Darnold’s triumphant return gives season renewed hope”
“Darnold is magic in return…..”
“This could be contagious”
*Boy Wonder – Sam returns as Jets stun Dallas”
“Whatever Sam’s got now….Catch It!”
And Darnold deserves all the praise. But the question is whether the Jets can carry some of that momentum over to this game against the Pats, who have been winning games much more with defense that with the offense led by future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, who, by the way, hasn’t posted bad numbers (65%, 7.6 ypa, ten TD’s).
Here are the Monday Night Football odds, with reduced juice as it is offered at BetAnySports:
New England Patriots -10 (-102)
New York Jets +10 (-108)
Over 43 points (-101)
Under 43 points (-109)
According to Le’Veon Bell, the Jets really perked up in practice when it became obvious that Darnold was going to get the start (after a false alarm the week before). And that makes a lot of difference – when you can go into a game actually thinking you have a chance to win. Don’t forget that about tonight’s game.
None of that feeling existed with Luke Falk, who, in all fairness, shouldn’t have been thrust into the job as starting quarterback just a week after being the third-stringer. He failed to produce any touchdown drives for the team; the Jets scored 14 points against New England in the season’s third week, but that was defense and special teams. And he’s been cut.
The New England defense has clearly been the most effective in the NFL this season. Here’s a team giving up all of 17.06 yards per drive, and they can get teams off the field in a hurry, forcing a three-and-out almost 26% of the time. The Pats have permitted 13.7% conversions on third down, which is beyond incredible. And they are the NFL’s best stop unit in the red zone, whether it is in terms of surrendering points or touchdowns.
Yes, it is true that the schedule has played out right for them. But those numbers against NFL competition of ANY kind are still phenomenal.
Let’s put this in even MORE perspective – the Giants just faced a team (Arizona) that went into the game having allowed 16 touchdown passes without an interception. The Patriots have allowed ONE touchdown pass and made 14 interceptions, not to mention holding opposing quarterbacks to a 42.0 rating and 4.6 yards an attempt.
So this is the challenge Darnold is facing.
You have to really give kudos to Gregg Williams, who has not allowed his New York defensive unit to become a bunch of finger-pointers even as the offense struggled. His guys have held opponents to just 3.3 yards a carry. That’s a very positive thing here. Where the Jets need some vast improvement in is the pass rush, where they have just seven sacks.
The Pats have not had their way in the red zone – at least not yet. They are 27th and 23rd, respectively, when it comes to converting red zone trips into points and TD’s, and maybe a factor here is the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. But they are not the scoring machine they’ve been in the past.
With a spirited Jets defense to deal with, don’t be surprised if this contest is low-scoring. So we’re going UNDER the total, as we continue with WagerWAR, which is powered by the great folks at PPHVIP.
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