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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 5
2011
*ARI at MIN *NO at CAR *SD at DEN CHI at DET (mon)
CIN at JAC *NYJ at NE *SEA at NYG BYE
GB at ATL OAK at HOU *TB at SF BAL, CLE, DAL
*UPDATED KC at IND PHI at BUF *TEN at PIT MIA, STL, WAS

Prediction: NYJ 17, NE 34

Players to Watch: Stevan Ridley, Dustin Keller

Update: Aaron Hernandez did not practice on Wednesday but had limited work both Thursday and Friday and could end up playing this week. The Patriots are extremely close-guarded about such things but it looks somewhat favorable for him to play this week. I am not adding him into the projections because it is not certain that he will play or how much if he does. He has not undergone a full practice yet. Danny Woodhead remains out.

Always a fun game to watch, the Jets ended the Patriots playoffs last year here but so far the 2-2 Jets are struggling and are 0-2 on the road. By a quirk of the schedule, the Jets started with two home games and then have three straight road trips and this is the last and likely toughest one. On the road to Oakland and Baltimore, the Jets have allowed 34 points in each and the Pats are looking to extend their 30+ point streak anyway.

The Jets beat the Patriots 28-14 at home but lost 3-45 in New England for 2010. In the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Jets won 28-21 in New England and the Patriots likely remember that game.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 27-24 10 NE -
2 JAC 32-3 11 @DEN -
3 @OAK 24-34 12 BUF -
4 @BAL 17-34 13 @WAS -
5 @NE - 14 KC -
6 MIA - 15 @PHI -
7 SD - 16 NYG -
8 Bye - 17 @MIA -
9 @BUF -      
Jets Report | Statistics | Roster
NY JETS at NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez - - 300,2
RB Shonn Greene 50 10 -
RB LaDainian Tomlinson 20 60 -
TE Dustin Keller - 50,1 -
WR Plaxico Burress - 50,1 -
WR Derrick Mason - 40 -
WR Santonio Holmes - 60 -
PK Nick Folk 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: This could be fascinating. HC Rex Ryan was pissed about getting spanked in Baltimore and says he wants to abandon the pass-heavy game and return to a run-first mentality of the ground-n-pound. Only he has neither the running backs nor the offensive line to accomplish that. It may just be strategy since the Pats are so bad against the pass but it doesn't matter. The Jets will end up passing whether they like it or not.

QUARTERBACK: Mark Sanchez was doing well enough throwing for two scores in each of the first three games and topping 330 pass yards against the Cowboys and in Oakland. But then he only had 119 yards in Baltimore with three lost fumbles and one interception that turned into 21 points for the Ravens. They say that when you pass, one of three things are going to happen and two of them are bad. Not so. Sanchez showed you could throw incomplete, throw an interception OR just fumble it away before you can throw it and have that returned for a touchdown.

Sanchez passed for 164 yards and no scores in New England last year and later in the playoffs threw for 194 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots are bad in the secondary and not just because of trash time afforded to opponents. The fewest pass yards by an opponent so far is 344 yards. All have scored and all but one scored twice via the pass. Even Sanchez should have a bounce back game here unless the Jets run the ball beyond all reason.

RUNNING BACKS: You cannot dismiss the effects of a offensive line that is missing major players on how the rushing effort fares. But beyond that, it is still hard to prove that Shonn Greene isn't just an inferior running back with neither speed, moves or that much power. Green has only topped out at 59 rushing yards in a game. LaDainian Tomlinson was the savior last season when they realized Greene wasn't going to be the answer. But not this year. He has never gone over 38 yards as a runner and yet he figures in as a receiver in a few games against bad secondaries - like this week.

The Jet combined for 111 rushing yards in the first game and then 119 rush yards in the second. Greene scored once in the playoff game.

No one rushes much on the Patriots because they fall behind so quickly. No runner has more than 14 carries against them. While a touchdown is possible here, the risk of getting nothing is too high to risk it.

WIDE RECEIVERS: While this was a pass-heavy attack, it still somehow missed benefiting the wideouts who combined only have three scores and none have gained more than 72 yards in a game even at home against the injury-reduced Cowboys secondary. Plaxico Burress has two scores but never more than 72 yards and he was even blanked in week two. Santonio Holmes has one score and never more than 42 yards since the season opener. Derrick Mason is having a very forgettable end to his career. On paper this is a great crew. On the field, not so much.

In the playoff game, Santonio Holmes scored once but only had three catches for 20 yards while Braylon Edwards (2-52, TD) and Jerricho Cotchery (5-96) had good production.

This may be as good as it gets for the wideouts though again Ryan wants to run the ball more as if that is going to magically succeed. They are both big risks but if you are in a big pinch, both Burress and Holmes made low-grade fill-ins for the first bye week.

TIGHT ENDS: After being the primary receiver for the first three weeks, Dustin Keller was held to only 12 yards on two catches in Baltimore though he had eight targets in the game. Keller had been producing big games every week with two scores and one effort over 100 yards. Chances are that the Jets will need to fall back to him this week and have been softer against all receivers including tight ends when they face a decent receiver.

Keller never had more than 27 yards in either meeting in New England last year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 15 22 30 7 14 4
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 31 25 32 7 7 8


New England Patriots
Homefield: Gillette Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @MIA 38-24 10 @NYJ -
2 SD 35-21 11 KC -
3 @BUF 31-34 12 @PHI -
4 @OAK 31-19 13 IND -
5 NYJ - 14 @WAS -
6 DAL - 15 @DEN -
7 Bye - 16 MIA -
8 @PIT - 17 BUF -
9 NYG - - - -
Patriots Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ENGLAND vs NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady - - 270,2
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis 50,1 - -
RB Stevan Ridley 50,1 20 -
TE Rob Gronkowski - 70,1 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 40 -
WR Deion Branch - 40,1 -
WR Wes Welker - 50 -
PK S. Gostkowski 2 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: Big points every week, the only question is who they are scored by. For the first time this season, last week was not a Tom Brady Bonanza which could happen again this week. The Patriots are looking at two challenging games before the bye but both are at home and both will see the Pats favored. The loss to the Bills means that the Patriots cannot afford to lose to another divisional rival in case it comes down to tie breakers in the end. And the caissons go rolling along with 31 points per week...

QUARTERBACK: Even when the Pats rely on their rushing game to dominate, Tom Brady still passes for 226 yards and two scores. When the run game is not enough, he has three initial weeks of each game over 380 pass yards and no fewer than three touchdowns. Brady currently has 13 touchdowns on the season which is a pace to end with 52.

Brady passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns on the visiting Jets last season and later passed for 299 yards and two scores in the playoff meeting.

How this ends will be interesting. The Cowboys posted 342 yards and two scores in New York in the opener but no quarterback since has scored or had more than 163 yards. Then again - Blain Gabbert, Jason Campbell and Joe Flacco all had success running the ball anyway and were never going to throw much as it was. Brady is a must start. No question.

RUNNING BACKS: Danny Woodhead injured his ankle and pending more information is likely out this week and replaced by Stevan Ridley. This makes for a beast of a rushing attack with BenJarvus Green-Ellis who has three touchdowns on the season and Stevan Ridley who had 42 yards on six carries in Buffalo and then 97 yards and a score on ten runs in Oakland. This may be the phasing out of Woodhead thanks to an injury as Ridley is clearly ready to rumble. The two runners are more alike than complementary so their ratio will be a guess every week.

The Patriots rushed for 83 yards and two scores on the Jets last season and later gained 89 yards and no scores in the playoff meeting.

The Jets have been weaker against the run than last year with five rushing touchdowns allowed and last week the Ravens posted 115 rush yards on them. Before that, McFadden bashed them with 171 yards and two scores on 19 runs. The split sucks here because it means risk in using any of them. There should be at least one rushing score though and decent yardage as well - divided in some way. The interesting thing is to see if they rely on Ridley as a receiver much.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Wes Welker has been a beast this year. A small, white and speedy beast perhaps, but a beast none the less. He has three games over 155 yards already and five touchdowns. God how we all hate the Wes Welker owners in each league. But not this week. The Jets are going to assign Darrell Revis to pretend he is a Doberman and Welker is a poodle in heat. "Let's dispense with the pleasantries, shall we?"

So far we just do not know what the Patriots are like without Welker running wild this year. But the Jets hope to find out. Chad Ochocinco is no jeopardy of having any fantasy value yet with his two catch per week bounty. Deion Branch started the season out big and the last two weeks has only caught one pass (a touchdown granted but a short one).

Welker had games of 7-80 and 7-57 against the Jets with one score during the regular season. Branch scored in both games but never had more than 64 yards.

TIGHT ENDS: The most productive tight end in the league laid an egg last week with only one catch for 15 yards as he spend most the game either blocking or watching Wes Welker go nuts. The Jets have not allowed a score by a tight end yet but Jason Witten turned in 110 yards on six catches in the season opener in New York and they have not faced another good receiving tight end. Rob Gronkowski is a must start every week regardless of matchup.

Hernandez turned in 51 yards and a score in the regular season meeting with the playoff game using Gronkowski for 65 yards on four receptions.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 2 13 2 1 17 20
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 1 27 3 11 12 31

WEEK 5
2011
ARI at MIN NO at CAR SD at DEN CHI at DET (mon)
CIN at JAC NYJ at NE SEA at NYG BYE
GB at ATL OAK at HOU TB at SF BAL, CLE, DAL
  KC at IND PHI at BUF TEN at PIT MIA, STL, WAS

a d v e r t i s e m e n t