Confession: After ridiculing the fact that Stevan Ridley would be drafted in 98 percent of New England fantasy drafts after his Game 1 preseason performance, I went and drafted Ridley in the middle rounds of my own.
In two leagues.
Gotta love being wrong. And right.
As for real life…
This week’s Jets-Patriots predictions…
Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Patriots 30, Jets 16. I’m not good at tabloid headlines. But let me guess at the Boston Herald’s back page Monday: “PATS BLOW OUT BLOWHARDS.”
ESPN.com staff: Patriots across the board.
CBS Sports.com staff: Patriots across the board.
Mike Tanier, New York Times: Patriots. “This short, buried, understated game capsule is our way of modulating the volume level on our national discourse. Think of it as a “Sounds of the Ocean” generator with a noise-cancelling function that makes all of the trash talk and bluster surrounding this game sound like the distant lapping of waves against a forgotten fishing pier. Are you serene yet? Good. No, that is not Antonio Cromartie, Plaxico Burress or Santonio Holmes you hear trying to bait the Patriots with senseless trash talk. It is three far-off seagulls cawing over a crushed oyster shell.”
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports.com: Patriots 31, Jets 20. The Jets are having big problems. “They can’t throw it and they have little in terms of a pass rush. That’s trouble against Tom Brady. The Jets did a good job on Brady in the playoff victory last year, but this Jets team isn’t the same. I look for Brady to shred them and make amends for that playoff loss. It doesn’t help this is the Jets’ third consecutive road game.”
Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News: Patriots 27, Jets 19. “The 2-2 Jets need this game more than the Patriots, but in their current state, they’re not capable of taking it.”
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com: Patriots 27, Jets 17. “Twice last year, these two teams met in New England, with two starkly different outcomes. The rubber match gives us a chance to decide which of the games was the aberration – the Monday night shellacking of the Jets, or New York’s unlikely toppling of a 14-2 juggernaut in the playoffs. Rex Ryan is coaching with his back pressed against the wall, and the so-so New England defense is just what the Jets need to build some confidence on the offensive side of the ball. But then Jets receiver Santonio Holmes decided to run his mouth, giving the Pats just enough bulletin board material to find a way to continue the Jets’ tailspin.”
Gregg Rosenthal, ProFootballTalk.com: Patriots 31, Jets 27. “These AFC East rivals are both still trying to figure out what they do well. Only one of them has Tom Brady to carry the team through choppy waters. Sometimes it’s that simple. The Jets’ run game and defense isn’t quite good enough yet to lift up a mediocre passing attack.”
Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 31, Jets 24. “Just looked at my watch and saw that it was time – in Week 5’s marquee-topper – for New England to exact payback for the Jets’ playoff ouster of Patriots last season. There are just a few offenses in the NFL that can match points with Tom Brady, and NYJ ain’t one of ’em. Planes? once-impressive ground game, like Rex Ryan?s humility, is nowhere to be found, averaging only 71 run-yards and 3.1 per, and that is placing too much burden for Mark “Pretty Boy” Sanchez to bear. Santonio Holmes called out Sanchez after last week’s mistake-filled loss, but this is not an opponent or a venue that arrive as a remedy for what ails the Jets. Ryan will dial up heavy blitzing of Brady, but at his own considerable risk. Having said all that, the near-double-digit betting line feels fat. That’s too many points to give a quality and desperate division rival.”
Peter Schrager, FoxSports.com: “Patriots 34, Jets 16. “I got in a fairly heated “Mark Sanchez or Eli Manning” argument with a friend of mine at a Jersey Shore bar over the summer. Full disclosure – this friend has a tattoo that reads “J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets” with a giant green and white Jets logo on his bicep. On Sunday evening, a few hours after the Jets were manhandled by the Ravens in Baltimore, he texted me, “11-for-35 for 119 yards, three lost fumbles, and an INT. Where art thou, Sanchize?” Yep, my Jersey Shore buddies speak in Shakespearean sonnets. The truth? The “Sanchize” is just “a guy” behind that woeful offensive line.”
USA Today staff: Patriots across the board.
Yahoo! Sports staff: Patriots across the board.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Patriots 28, Jets 20. “Three road games in a row is a tall order for the Jets, coming off consecutive losses at Oakland and Baltimore. Tom Brady and the Patriots are less-than-gracious hosts.”
Globe Staff: Three of five pick the Jets (9 ½)
It says here: Jets 27, Patriots 24. New York has beaten New England three out of the last five meetings and desperately needs a win. Call it a hunch, but it says here that Ryan has the game plan to drive Brady nuts – again – and make it four out of six.