New York Jets Fans Prepare for Nemesis New England Patriots: “Queasy and Uneasy”

Posted on: November 18, 2022, 01:11h. 

Last updated on: November 18, 2022, 01:11h.

That buddy of yours who is a Jets fan is in a poor mood today, and he will be the same way Saturday, and the same way on Sunday morning, when he will growl at the poor old lady passing him the collection basket at church. He has been much more cheerful and jovial for the past several weeks. But he is Mr. Dread right now … even if he does not wear dreadlocks.

He knows that the New England Patriots await his beloved Jets this weekend, and he can probably tell you the exact details of the day in late December of 2015 when Patriots coach Bill Belikick (not a typo) won the coin toss in overtime and elected to kick off. Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker with a 6-yeard touchdown pass for a 26-20 Jets victory.

Ever since? Nothing but misery.

Belichick has been a nemesis to the Jets over the ensuing seven years, posting 13 consecutive victories over Gang Green to help prolong the longest playoff drought in the NFL. (The Jets could have clinched a wild card back in 2015 by defeating Buffalo the week after the Pats victory. But the Rex Ryan revenge game — he had been fired by the Jets a year earlier — happened the following week, as Buffalo’s defense intercepted Fitzpatrick on New York’s final three possessions to keep the Jets out of the postseason.

One of the blemishes on the Jets’ surprising 6-3 record is a 22-17 loss on Oct. 30, as the Patriots intercepted Zach Wilson three times and Nick Folk kicked five field goals against his former team. That caused Wilson’s 355 passing yards to go for naught, as the Patriots defeated the Jets for the 13th consecutive time.

So this is not really a divisional rivalry, because rivalries generally involve teams that play their hardest against each other and fondly recall their victories in those rivalry games. Like Yankees-Red Sox, to cite a Boston-New York example. But nobody currently on the Jets has been a part of a victory over New England. So when you talk about the difference between Gang Green and Gangrene, the Patriots are a part of that lexicon quandary.

Can The Jets Break That 13-Game Losing Streak?

Look, every losing streak eventually ends.

Northwestern had a 34-game losing streak in college football. The Chicago Cardinals lost an NFL record 29 straight games long before they moved to St. Louis and then Arizona. The Philadelphia 76ers lost 28 in a row during the early days of the Sam Hinkie “Process” in 2015. Notre Dame defeated Navy 43 consecutive times before the Midshipmen broke through in 2007. The Dolphins defeated the Bills 20 consecutive times in the 1970s, a streak that lasted a full decade, and the Bills lost 15 in a row to the Pats from 2003-2010.

Belichick is 72-19 against first- and second-year quarterbacks, and Johnson has thrown seven interceptions in his two full games against the Pats. He was injured in the third, a humiliating 54-13 drubbing last season when the Jets visited Gillette Stadium. Belichick is a master game-planner, and his defensive schemes tend to confuse inexperienced quarterbacks such as Wilson, who was drafted No. 2 overall in 2021 in order to win games like the one the Jets will play on Sunday.

“For me, my  mindset this week is taking it one play at a time, how can I make the best decision on that play,” Wilson told reporters Thursday. “Don’t get too far ahead of myself as far as feeling like I need a big play, or I need to make something happen.”

Easier said than done, especially in the moment when those moments arrive Sunday.

Where Is The Money Being Wagered?

At BetMGM, Jets-Patriots is the most heavily wagered game on the board, with 76 % of spread bets and 74 % of handle being placed on Belichick’s team, a 3-point favorite. At DraftKings Sportsbook, where the line is Patriots – 3 1/2, 62 % of handle and 63 % of tickets on spread bets are coming in on the Jets.

On the moneyline, BetMGM is seeing 82 % of bets and 76 % of handle on the Jets. At DraftKings, those numbers are 69 % (handle) and 63 % on the Jets.

What this tells us is that Jets’ bettors are going for the outright win, which would move New York into a first-place tie with Miami. (If the Bills defeat the Cleveland Browns, there would be a three-way tie for first place).

The Jets are coming off a bye week following what seemed like a signature victory over the Bills. But they are a young team whose staying power has not been put to the test, and two weeks ago feels like ancient history in the NFL. New York is down to +1000 to win the AFC East at Draft Kings, +2500 to win the AFC, and +6000 (same as the Patriots and Giants) to win the Super Bowl.

Buffalo remains favored to be the last team standing at +400, followed by Kansas City (+500), and Philadelphia (+600). Just behind that three some is the Green Bay Packers at +7000, and that is a 4-7 franchise coming off a punchless 27-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. That had ESPN’s studio heads spending Friday morning, debating the merits of trading Aaron Rodgers (this despite the fact that the trade deadline has already passed.)

The lesson here is that people are quick to kick you when you are down. And make no mistake, a loss to the Patriots on Sunday would temporarily undo 99% of the good feelings that have surrounded the Jets throughout this season. They have overachieved beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, so it becomes a question of where they can go from here, and whether they are satisfied with what they did in September, October, and the first half of November. That is where is becomes incumbent upon leading Coach of the Year candidate Robert Saleh (the +1200 fifth choice behind Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni, Minnesota’s Kevin O’Connell, the Giants’ Brian Daboll and Miami’s Mike McDaniel) to slay a ghost, so to speak.

No coach would ever admit to one regular season game meaning more than any other. But it is an open secret in Jets Nation that the Patriots are their nemesis, and the confidence boost that a victory against New England would give them heading into Week 12 would be beyond enormous.

So no, this is no ordinary game.

Which Player Props Look The Most Enticing?

The Jets had 34 rushing plays and 25 passing plays in their victory over the Bills, one week after they rushed only 15 times and threw 41 passes in their 22-17 loss to the Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Many fans booed the Jets and exited early, even though New York’s last hopes did not die until they failed to recover an onside kick following Wilson’s 9-yard touchdown pass to Conklin with 1:51 left.

The Jets led 10-6 at halftime, but allowed the Patriots to control the game clock throughout the second half, helped in large part by Wilson’s interceptions.

Wilson had 336 passing yards to Matt Jones’ 161. But that was the Jets’ first game after losing rookie running back Breece Hall was lost to a season-ending injury. James Robinson and Michael Carter got equal workloads against the Bills the following week, as the Jets returned to then ground-and-pound style that served them so well earlier this season. So reason would dictate that they’ll run more in the rematch than they did in the first game against New England.

Carter’s rushing yardage over/under is 42 1/2, and Wilson’s passing yardage over/under is 198 1/2. Parlaying the “over” on those two player props gets you a line of +249 at DraftKings, and with the Patriots ranked 12th in the NFL in defense in terms of yardage allowed (325 per game), it is worth considering, even for Jets fans who feel losing to Belichick … again … is an inevitability.

One other thing to watch for: Because Massachusetts has not yet legalized gambling (the state regulatory authorities are being very cautious there), many Boston-area gamblers will not make their wagers until Saturday, when they can travel across state lines to New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. That means Patriots money will likely come in more heavily Saturday and early Sunday, and the line could tilt as a result.

One thing that will not tilt is the confidence level of Patriots fans, who take special pleasure in being able to trash talk their New York metropolitan area rival fans. And until the Jets get this monkey off their backs, that buddy of yours with the fatalistic look in his eye ain’t changing his doomsday demeanor.


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