PA­TRI­OTS (3-2) VS. JETS (3-2)


USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - LEADING OFF - Brady Davis Ja­mal Adams tan­zaro Stephon Gil­more Rob Gronkowski Tom De­mario Mar­cus Maye Chan­dler CaPlayer to watch: Gronkowski. Num­ber crunch­ing: 17-for-17. Jeremy Ker­ley. Lach­lan Ed­wards Eli­jah McGuire

An­nounc­ers: Ian Ea­gle, Dan Fouts, Evan Wash­burn

About the Pa­tri­ots: New Eng­land’s de­fense re­deemed it­self dur­ing an Oct. 5 vic­tory against the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers. After yield­ing an av­er­age of 32 points per game in their first four games, the Pa­tri­ots shored some things up, es­pe­cially in the sec­ondary, lim­it­ing the Bucs to 14 points and mak­ing a last-minute stand to pre­serve the vic­tory. “You can build off this,” said S “This was a step in the right di­rec­tion.” Be­lea­guered CB had a bounce­back game, lim­it­ing Pro Bowl WR Mike Evans to five catches for 49 yards. Although QB

had an­other big game (303 pass­ing yards, 94.1 passer rat­ing), the Pa­tri­ots strug­gled to score. TE is ex­pected back after miss­ing the game be­cause of a thigh con­tu­sion, so that should help.

About the Jets: For the first time in his 15-sea­son NFL ca­reer, QB has guided a team to three con­sec­u­tive wins. The jour­ney­man threw two fourth-quar­ter touch­down passes as the Jets came back to edge the win­less Cleve­land Browns 17-14. LB

was stel­lar against his for­mer team with two sacks and four quar­ter­back hits, one of which re­sulted in a Jets in­ter­cep­tion. Rookie safeties and con­tinue to be pre­co­cious. Adams made nine tack­les, while Maye made his first in­ter­cep­tion on a third-down play from the Jets’ 4-yard line. For the first time since 2008, the Jets made three stops in the red zone with­out al­low­ing points. A week after win­ning a game with an over­time field goal, K

booted a fran­chise-record 57-yarder.

Matchup to watch: Jets de­fen­sive line­men Leonard Wil­liams and Muhammad Wilk­er­son vs. Pats tack­les Nate Solder and Mar­cus Can­non. Wil­liams and Wilk­er­son are still look­ing for their first sacks. Mean­while, Solder and Can­non have strug­gled to pro­tect Brady, who was hit six times by the Bucs. Brady has been hit 32 times and sacked 16 times. Last sea­son, he was sacked 15 times in 12 reg­u­lar-sea­son games.


After miss­ing the last game and eight games in 2016, Gronk is hanker­ing to get back on the field. De­spite his dura­bil­ity ques­tions, he re­mains a dy­namic, game-chang­ing per­former. He’s av­er­ag­ing nearly 16 yards per re­cep­tion and will play a piv­otal role as Brady ac­cli­mates to life with­out in­jured WR Ju­lian Edel­man.

Re­cep- tions and tar­gets by Jets WR Nine of his catches have re­sulted in first downs.


1. Stay grounded: A week after Jets run­ning backs Bi­lal Pow­ell and com­bined for 256 yards on 31 car­ries, they were lim­ited to 25 yards on 13 car­ries. The Pa­tri­ots are yield­ing 124 rush­ing yards per game and gave up 140 vs. Tampa Bay, so there might be op­por­tu­ni­ties.

2. Road war­riors: The Pa­tri­ots have won both of their road games this sea­son, con­tin­u­ing their trend last sea­son, when they went 8-0 in away games.

3. Pro­tect the fran­chise: Brady is on pace to be hit 102 times and sacked 51 times. New Eng­land’s of­fen­sive line has to do a bet­ter job keep­ing de­fend­ers away from its 40-yearold quar­ter­back.

4. Get­ting their kicks: Catan­zaro is re­deem­ing him­self after mak­ing just 75% of his field goals and miss­ing four ex­tra point at­tempts last year with the Ari­zona Car­di­nals. Jets P has a punt of 60 yards or longer in each of his last three games.

Scott Pi­to­niak


Devin McCourty. Josh McCown

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