The Jets (4-10) and Patriots (12-2) squared off Week 12 at MetLife Stadium as New England emerged victorious 22-17.
Tom Brady and the Pats are on a five-game winning streak and have won nine of their last ten contests. In Week 15, the Pats clinched the AFC East, taking down the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos 16-3 at Mile High Stadium. New England currently sits atop the AFC and can clinch home field advantage in the playoffs with a win and an Oakland Raiders loss.
Since facing the Jets after Thanksgiving, Brady has completed an average of 62.5% of his passes for 287 yards with 4 TDs to three different receivers (one INT).
Pick Your Poison
The Patriots have three talented RBs who possess different skill sets. LaGarrette Blount is the bruiser of the bunch and has received the most work on the ground. Blount ranks No. 7 in the NFL with 1,060 yards on 265 carries and he leads the league with 15 rushing TDs, a Patriots single-season record.
The 5'10", 205-pound James White lines up in the backfield, but is predominantly used as a pass catcher. White has the second-most receptions on the team with 53 (WR Julian Edelman) and has tallied 498 receiving yards. He's also tied for second on the team with four receiving touchdowns. The Wisconsin product has only carried the ball 36 times this season for 143 yards and has yet to rush for a TD.
Since returning from an ACL injury Week 11, Dion Lewis has gradually become more involved in New England's offense. Lewis registered his best output of the season against the Broncos, rushing for 95 yards on 18 carries. Last season, the Pitt product was a dual threat for the Patriots, recording 234 rushing yards and 288 receiving yards in seven games.
Against the Jets in Week 12, the Patriots predominantly used their backs as receivers — they combined for 56 yards on eight catches. On the ground, the three RBs rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries.
Tightening the Screws
New England's defense has been very effective since these teams last met, surrendering an average of 12 points and 46 rushing yards in their last three games. Additionally, opponents have only converted on 21% of their third-down attempts over that same time span.
Four-time Pro Bowl TE Rob Gronkowski was placed on IR following the Jets-Patriots Week 12 matchup with a back injury. Martellus Bennett has taken over as New England's starting tight end, registering 109 yards and a touchdown the past three games. Against the Jets, Bennett had three catches for 22 yards.