New England Patriots at New York Jets (+3.5, 44)
The New York Jets know the road to the AFC East title goes through New England and they have a chance to take a step in that direction when they host the divison-leading Patriots on Sunday. The Jets sit two games behind the Patriots and have lost the last six meetings, including a three-point loss at New England in Week 2. Rookie Geno Smith and New York have been unable to put together back-to-back wins and were throttled in a 19-6 home loss to Pittsburgh last week.
The Patriots rebounded from their lone loss with a dramatic victory last week, getting a touchdown pass from Tom Brady with five seconds to play to overcome then-unbeaten New Orleans. The victory came at a high price, however, as the Patriots lost linebacker and leading tackler Jerod Mayo for the season with a torn pectoral muscle and saw wide receiver Danny Amendola and cornerback Aqib Talib also exit with injuries. Neither player is expected to be available this week.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE: The Pats opened as 3.5-point road faves. The total opened at 43 and is up to 43.5.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-50s with clear skies. Wind will blow across the field at 13 mph.
ABOUT THE JETS (3-3): New York limited the Patriots to 232 total yards and kept Brady under wraps in the 13-10 Week 2 loss, but Smith cost his team any chance at victory by throwing three fourth-quarter interceptions. Smith threw a career-high three touchdown passes in a 30-28 upset at Atlanta on Oct. 7, but he was picked off twice last week - his fourth game with multiple interceptions. The Jets' defense has been exceptional, ranking second in rushing yards allowed (75.7) and fourth in total yards (303.8) and sacks (20).
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (5-1): While New England remains in a season-long holding pattern on the status of injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, Brady continues to work with a patchwork wide receiver corps led by Julian Edelman, who had 13 of his 41 receptions in Week 2. Stevan Ridley has struggled for much of the season but provided a spark to the running game last week with 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns. With Mayo joining perennial Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wolfork on the sidelines, the Patriots' 24th-ranked run defense is vulnerable.
* Over is 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings.
* Patriots are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 meetings in New York.
* Jets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. AFC.
* Over is 16-5 in Patriots last 21 vs. AFC East.
1. The Patriots have won the last two meetings in New Jersey by a combined 51 points.
2. Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson needs one sack to surpass last season's career high of five.
3. Brady, who is 18-4 in the regular season versus the Jets, needs one TD pass to eclipse Fran Tarkenton (342) for fourth on the all-time list.