After a bye week following their beatdown at the hands of the Tennessee Titans in Week 10, the New England Patriots will get back to work with a meeting against an AFC East rival in the New York Jets on Sunday.
It will be the first meeting of the 2018 season between the Jets and Patriots, and New England's first meeting with a divisional rival since their 25-6 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football in Week 8.
The Patriots come into playing having won 12 of their last 14 head-to-heads with the Jets. Oddly enough, both New England losses over that stretch have come in overtime, and with the Jets being the home team on both occasions.
With Sam Darnold still on the shelf with a foot injury, the Jets will start 39-year-old Josh McCown for the second straight game. McCown completed 17-of-34 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions in last week's 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Here's how the 98.5 The Sports Hub staff sees this showdown at Metlife Stadium going down...
Ty Anderson (writer/columnist, 985TheSportsHub.com)
Tom Brady may be dealing with a knee ailment and a sickness, but Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is back and ready to go. We can read into this 'til we're blue in the face, too, but I'm not ready to call Gronkowski done. Call this the Mehta Column Game as No. 87 proves there's still something left in the tank while the Patriots roll against the Darnold-less Jets.
Patriots 31, Jets 13.
Christian Arcand (The Adam Jones Show)
I would like to pick a bigger win for New England here -- something in the 35-10 range -- but with Brady's struggles lately and the defense still getting scorched on a near weekly basis I'm going a bit more conservative. If Brady can't figure out this Todd Bowles defense and Josh McCown carves up the Pats' D then it's time to really start questioning what this team actually is - fortunately I don't think we will have to have that conversation on Monday.
Patriots 26, Jets 15.
Adam Jones (The Adam Jones Show)
The Patriots have had to hear about getting pantsed by the Titans for two straight weeks. The Jets are probably starting Headlines anchor Tim McKone at quarterback.
Patriots 38, Jets 0.
Tony Massarotti (Felger and Mazz)
Feeling down? Disappointed in your performance? Well here's a solution: just play the Jets! Hard to know where the Pats stand in the bigger picture without knowing about the status of Rob Gronkowski, among others. But here's what we do now: it shouldn't matter against a pathetic operation that has lost four straight and 7-of-9 since winning in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. The J-E-T-S Jets S-U-C-K suck.
Patriots 31, Jets 17.
Mike 'Sarge' Riley (98.5 The Sports Hub)
Patriots coming off the bye. Should be a slam dunk for a win against the Jets, right? Not so fast my friends....
The Patriots historically have had a hard time in New Jersey and are just 3-2 against the Jets on the road in their last five in what were all very tight games. This week will be the Jets' Super Bowl, but the Patriots are playing for the top seed and as Tom Brady has said, the real season starts after Thanksgiving. It starts Sunday with a hard fought win.
Get ready, Gostkowski, this one comes down to you.
Patriots 27, Jets 24.
Matt Dolloff (Writer/producer, 985TheSportsHub.com)
This has all the makings of a dominant performance for the Patriots, but they've also historically had tough games at MetLife Stadium. I expect Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and by extension the offense, to look as good as they have all season - but it still won't be easy. The Jets defense is strong down the middle so they're built to slow things down for the Pats offense. There's also that whole thing about the Patriots having yet to put together a complete game on the road. But like Derek Anderson in Buffalo, Josh McCown will not be pulling a Mariota this week. At the end of the day the Patriots won't be in much danger of losing, but it won't be as easy as it may seem.
Patriots 26, Jets 16.