Are the Patriots in for a rude awakening Monday night?
Undefeated New England will visit the 1-4 New York Jets for a “Monday Night Football” showdown between two bitter AFC East rivals. Conventional wisdom says the Patriots and their world-beating defense will cruise in the Meadowlands, but there might be more to this game than meats the eye.
For some, the return of quarterback Sam Darnold last week, coupled with the Jets’ surprising victory over the Dallas Cowboys, signals that New York can hold its own against the Patriots. Plus, the Tom Brady-led offense has looked out of sync all season, despite New England’s 6-0 record.
Boomer Esiason, who joined WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Monday, is among those who wouldn’t be shocked by an upset.
“I think they are going to be in the game, I do. I think the Jets are feeling a lot better about themselves than they were the last time these two teams played. Sam Darnold has certainly brought a different type of feel around the football team, which is what a young, third overall pick at quarterback should be able to do. They should get C.J. Mosley back on defense. Their defense has actually played really well. With all the injuries that they have on offense, the Patriots, I would think that they are going to be able to keep this thing close.
“But, really what I worry about when you play against the Patriots is turnovers because of how good their secondary has been playing. No matter who is running around at wide receiver for the New York Jets — they don’t have better players than the Patriots secondary, so to me that is really where the crux of this game is going to be won or lost, in the secondary of the Patriots. If the Patriots get a couple of picks they will win easily. If they don’t, this game will stay tight all the way until the end. I do think the Patriots will win it, but I think the Jets will cover.”
We side with Esiason on this one. The Patriots are in for a tough game Monday night.
That said, a 45-0 victory by Bill Belichick and Co. wouldn’t shock anyone.