Free NFL Pick: New York Jets at Patriots 12-06-2010

December 6, 2010


New York Jets at New England Patriots

Monday December 6th, 2010 8:30 PM EST

Line: New England -4


The two best teams in the AFC are squaring off on Monday Night Football. If that weren’t enough, those two teams happen to be the Jets and Patriots, two teams that do not hide their hatred for one another. The teams operate in completely different fashions, yet both achieve success. The Jets are undefeated on the road. The Patriots are undefeated at home. This is far and away the matchup of the season.

Keys to the Game:

  • Tom Brady hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 6. He has been absolutely flawless in his execution. With Peyton Manning’s recent struggles, Brady appears to be the odds on favorite to win the MVP. A big win over the Jets might all but seal it for him. He faces a big challenge, as the Jets pass rush is going to make their presence felt and the secondary is the best in the NFL.
  • Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are going to have no problems on Monday. The Patriots no longer have Randy Moss to focus on, so the corners will likely be locked in on Brandon Tate and Deion Branch. While Wes Welker could easily be considered their best receiver, the way he lines up is not conducive to corner coverage, as he constantly slips into the slot. The Jets lost their signal caller on defense, Jim Leonhard, which is going to make Wes Welker a liability for the Jets. The Patriots are likely to attack whoever is in one on one coverage with Welker, though the Jets will surely address the problem this week.
  • The Patriots have the worst pass defense in the NFL. They try to get into their receivers off the line, but are only moderately effective at doing so. Sanchez played well over a three game stretch where he threw at least 299 yards in each of them, after failing to do so throughout his career. He had a small set back last week, but could easily bounce back when he takes on the porous Patriots secondary on Monday Night Football.
  • Certain players show up for big games. One such player is Santonio Holmes, who is at his best when the bright lights are on or the situations are at their biggest. Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP, has broken twice for 100 yards this season. The entire country is going to be watching and Holmes is a player that prides himself on being great in the clutch.
  • Benjarvus Green-Ellis has been a pleasant surprise for the Patriots this season, but he will have limited success against the Jets defense. The Jets allow only 86.3 yards a game on the ground. While Green-Ellis is not the staple of their offense, the Patriots excel when they are able to provide some sort of versatility to their offense. It doesn’t appear as though they are going to be able to do so.

Key Matchup:

Bill Belichick Vs. Rex Ryan

  • Bill Belichick is a reserved, serious looking man who does nothing but win. He doesn’t like the media, he doesn’t like stardom, as a matter of fact, it doesn’t appear he really likes very many things. That being said, the man is an absolute genius. In his ratty oversized sweater, Belichick out coaches just about everyone he faces. There are very few players on the Patriots worth mentioning, but somehow he still has one of the best teams in the entire NFL.
  • On the complete other side of the spectrum, Rex Ryan commands a circus. He surrounds himself with big name stars and loves the media attention. He has taken the Jets organization to a whole new level and New York loves it. He preaches championships and has embedded a swagger in the organization. He too has given his team success and out coaches most coaches he faces.
  • Players often take on the personality of their head coaches. This certainly applies in this game. Monday Night is going to be a clash of style and from the very first day Ryan was named head coach of the Jets, he began building a divide between the organizations. This game should be close, so this matchup could easily dictate the outcome of the game. Both teams would run through a brick wall if their coach asked them to do so.

Wrap Up:

This is tough for me. The Jets obviously have the edge at every single position group except quarterback, so naturally it would make sense to pick the Jets. That being said, most teams have the edge over the Patriots at most position groups, and are blown away. This game should be close, but I see the Jets over powering the Patriots. The Patriots will probably play error free football, but the four point spread is way too big for this game.

Free NFL Pick: Jets +4

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