Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 7 picks: Patriots at Jets

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the divisional showdown between the New England Patriots (5-1) and New York Jets (3-3).

Nick's take:
Can I pick a tie? There's a whole lot at play here, starting with the Patriots missing their three defensive leaders -- one on each layer of the unit (DL, LB, DB). Gang Green should run the ball down the Patriots' throats, but they'll still have to out-duel a Patriots offense that is rolling and high on the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Now, for the coin flip.
Prediction: Patriots 21, Jets 20

Sean's take:
The NFL scheduling mavens oddly decided Week 7 was the time to conclude the Jets-Patriots season series, but in this year's case, it may be the last point that the matchup could be considered relevant. A New England victory would all but remove Gang Green from any reasonable chance at contending for the division. But this game, the stars align and a dominating Jets pass rush and run defense overcome the return of Gronkowski, and New York pulls off the upset.
Prediction: Jets 31, Patriots 20

Dan's take:
It's a tough week for the Pats to be down three of their key defensive players, and an even tougher week for an injured Gronk to try to get his legs under him. The Jets' fourth-ranked run defense stifles a sputtering Pats' ground game, while its red zone squad shuts down Tom Brady and his go-to tight end. New York pulls out a key home win against a banged up Patriots squad. 
Prediction: Jets 24, Patriots 17