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Week 7 Preview: Jets at Patriots


The Sports Xchange

New York Jets (4-1) at New England Patriots (5-0)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass. – TV: CBS

*TV announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn

*Keys to the game: The turnover battle is emphasized on both sides of this AFC East matchup, with the teams at plus-9 in takeaway margin. The Jets are riding RB Chris Ivory of late, and he has two 100-yard efforts in his past three matchups with the Patriots. Getting chunk plays in the passing game has been easier with Ivory playing the lead and WR Brandon Marshall – who has four consecutive 100-yard games — is a difficult matchup for CB Malcolm Butler. The Patriots will bend between the 20s and tighten in the red zone, mixing coverage in hopes of stealing one from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Patriots are dominating when it matters, converting a league-high 50.8 percent of third downs and doing so without a dominant offensive line. QB Tom Brady gets rid of the ball almost instantly, but the Jets smother receivers at the line and by interrupting timing, give a front seven with three first-round picks time to close on Brady. Quick tosses to RB Dion Lewis and more power running with LeGarrette Blount are the best ways for the Patriots to build confidence in their front five. The biggest matchup question for the Jets is TE Rob Gronkowski, who has 11 touchdowns catches in his last 11 games.

*Matchup to watch – Jets CB Darrelle Revis vs. Patriots WR Julian Edelman: Since Week 2, Revis leads the NFL with a total of 10 passing yards allowed, per Pro Football Focus. Both players and Brady have the advantage of experience working head-to-head for a full year of practice last season.

*Player spotlight – Patriots LB Jamie Collins: Collins has played as well as any linebacker in the league through Week 6 and has 7.5 sacks and a PAT block in the past 10 games.

*Fast facts: Brady will set the franchise record with his 212th career start in this game. … Revis leads the NFL with six takeaways (three INT, three fumble recoveries).


The Jets are capable of winning if they erase the Patriots’ underrated ground game. That’s easier said than done for four quarters, and Tom Brady rarely gives the ball up in the biggest games.

*Our pick: Patriots 27-18.

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