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13 January 2018, 07:32 | Sandy Nunez
Jets vs. Patriots NFL Week 17 Predictions Against the Spread 12/31/17
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Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
With nine minutes left in the third quarter of a bitterly cold Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Jets receiver Robby Anderson got hot enough to help produce the most hilarious moment of the National Football League season.
New England knows the value of securing home field - it has advanced to the Super Bowl in five of the six seasons in which it had the No. 1 seed and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy three of those times (2003, 2014, 2016).
It was also Belichick's 250th career regular-season win, moving him into a tie with Tom Landry for third all-time among head coaches. The New England Patriots provided the opportunity in his first game with the club. If there is a Steelers-Patriots rematch in the AFC title game, as so many expect, it will be played in New England.
Along those lines, tight end Rob Gronkowski surely won't go through the next game without being targeted once, like he was against the Jets, even if the opponent is devoting multiple players to cover him. Since Tom Brady took over at quarterback, the Patriots are an absurd 17-3 in the playoffs at home. "Like they say, it's never easy and it's never late".
They won the coin toss and elected to receive, going away from their typical decision to defer until the second half.
The Eagles won't have been encouraged by the performance of quarterback Nick Foles, who connected on four of 11 passes for 39 yards and one interception before third-string signal caller Nate Sudfeld took over in the second quarter.
The New York Jets placed two running backs, including 10-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler Matt Forte, on the injured reserve list Saturday and activated former Temple running back Jahad Thomas in a corresponding roster move. Five of those passes went to Neal Sterling, who had a team-high 74 receiving yards.
Then just before halftime, NY cornerback Juston Burris was flagged for defensive holding on a Patriots third-down pass attempt.
Eric Lee sacked Petty in the end zone for a safety with 6:04 to go in the game, making it 26-6. NY was 0 for 12 on third down and 0 for 1 in its lone trip into the red zone.
"It's fourth-and-9, the other downs didn't look great", Bowles said. We faced a lot of adversity this year and we persisted through it. "We stuck together through it all". Harrison is one of the best players in franchise history.
INJURIES - Jets: CB Morris Claiborne left briefly in the first quarter, but was able to return. This catch as well didn't occur until the third quarter. No matter who wins on wildcard weekend, the Patriots can't play the Jacksonville Jaguars in that first game because the Jags are the number three seed. At game time, the temperature was 13 degrees with a -2 wind chill.
"We don't know if he can or can't (play)", Bowles said of Hackenberg in a somewhat contentious postgame session with reporters.
That's why the Patriots-Steelers clash during this regular season mattered so much. This is huge for New England, as Bill Belichick and the Patriots are notoriously hard to beat at Gillette Stadium in the postseason.
BELOW 50 - Brady's 48.6 completion percentage (18 of 37) marked only the second time this season he completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
The Patriots defense is the very definition of bend but don't break.
Even after eight consecutive wins, a 27-20 loss on the road in Miami sent fans into a tizzy.
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