Monday Night Football should be like Sunday’s lineup. There needs to be more games played because it’s such a letdown to only have to see one contest instead of three or four. Nonetheless, tonight’s matchup between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots should still be jam-packed with excitement that, if oddsmakers are right, could mean that there will be enough action to cover a couple games’ worth.
The Jets pulled off a surprise victory against the Dallas Cowboys last week to stop their four-game losing streak. Quarterback Sam Darnold is going to be back in the game for the Jets and this could give the team a little extra motivation against the Pats. A win tonight would keep them alive in the season, something no one would have thought possible two weeks ago.
It has to be pointed out that Darnold returned to the field in the same game that the Jets recorded their first victory of the season. That’s most likely more than just coincidence and tonight could make or break that though. He completed 23 of 32 passes to rack up 388 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys, while only allowing one interception, and his talents are well recognized.
However, the Pats aren’t the Cowboys. The New England team is 6-0 on the year and have allowed the fewest yards per game in the league this season. They also lead in interceptions with 14 and are second in sacks with 25. This means that Darnold is going to be facing a tough defense that is ready to punch his ticket and capitalize on the smallest error he makes. Darnold knows this, too, and has to be ready to bring everything he has to the field.
Fortunately, he won’t be alone. It looks like C.J. Mosley, despite being listed as questionable on the injury report, could be back in the game. The linebacker has been out almost all season, except for the three quarters he played in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills. His power, if he’s back at 100%, is going to be vital to stopping a superior Pats offense.
All streaks have to come to an end and the Jets have a couple that it hopes to overcome tonight. The team has lost 10 of the last 11 games it has played against the Pats – seven of those being consecutive losses. It also hasn’t won a home game on MNF in eight years.
Darnold and C.J. Mosley on the field definitely give the Jets an advantage. Add to this Rex Burkhead and four others out of the Pats lineup and a picture begins to emerge. The New England squad is going to be short some strong players on both sides of the ball and this is going to hurt the team’s chances in a big way. As strong as the team is, it’s going to have a deficit of top players and this doesn’t bode well for its success. At the end of the night, it’s very likely that the Jets will have pulled off a victory and handed the Pats their first loss of the season.