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Patriots at NY Jets Over/Under for Week 12, 2016

New England Patriots(8-2-0) @ New York Jets(3-7-0)

  • Where: MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • When: November 27, 2016 4:25 pm EST
  • Spread: Patriots -7.5 vs. Jets + 7.5
  • Moneyline: Patriots -365 vs. Jets +305
  • Over / Under: Over 47 (-110) vs. Under 47 (-110)

The New England Patriots could be without star tight end Rob Gronkowski for a second straight game as they continue their chase of the top seed in the AFC on Sunday against the New York Jets.

Gronkowski, who leads the team with 540 receiving yards on 25 catches despite playing only seven games this season, sat out last week’s 30-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers due to a chest injury suffered in New England’s Week 10 loss to Seattle. The Patriots, though, barely skipped a beat without him on the West Coast as they pulled away from the 49ers on the strength of a 17-point fourth quarter.

Tom Brady threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns while LeGarrette Blount rushed for 124 yards in a balanced attack that rolled up 444 yards of total offense. Julian Edelman became Brady’s primary target in Gronkowski’s absence, finishing with eight catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

New England is tied with Oakland atop the AFC and leads Miami by two games in the East.

The Jets are last in the AFC East and coming off their bye week. Ryan Fitzpatrick returns as the starting quarterback, fully recovered from a knee injury. Bryce Petty started in Week 10 for New York, completing 19 of 32 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown and an interception in a 9-6 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Matt Forte had 98 rushing yards, but the Jets didn’t muster much in the way of consistent offense save their 99-yard touchdown drive in the first half. New York has lost back-to-back games by a combined seven points after winning its previous two.

Is Malcolm Mitchell the X-Factor for the Patriots?

There’s no doubt that Edelman is going to receive his fair share of passes from Brady with Gronkowksi sidelined, but there’s also a good chance he’s going to be shadowed by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis regardless of where he lines up. And with a Jets team allowing an average of 273.1 passing yards, that means Mitchell — a fourth-round pick and rookie from Georgia — could have opportunities to make big plays.

Mitchell had a 56-yard touchdown reception against San Francisco and finished with four catches for 98 yards, making him the latest in a slew of unheralded Patriots draft picks to make immediate contributions when called upon. In the three games New England played without Gronkowski — all wins — Mitchell was targeted 12 times and had seven receptions for 146 yards. But last week was his first game with Brady at quarterback in that scenario, and he may have won some trust points with his breakout performance last week.

Fitzpatrick and the Jets Out to Play Spoilers

After surprising many by nearly making the playoffs in Todd Bowles’ first season as head coach, the Jets have regressed and have reached the point where looking to the future could be starting in this game. Fitzpatrick will likely be gone after this season, and Bowles has been rumored to be on the hot seat. While New York has lost four of the last six games between the teams in the past three seasons, they have all been decided by seven points or less, and the Jets won in overtime last year at home after Patriots coach Bill Belichick decided to kick off after winning the coin toss for the extra period.

Fitzpatrick is only 2-7 lifetime against the Patriots, but he has given them fits — throwing for 2,630 yards and 18 touchdowns. He’s also thrown 17 interceptions in those games, but he has definitely done enough to keep his team in position to win against one of the NFL’s most notoriously annoying defenses.

My O/U Pick

While there’s no love lost between the two teams, the fact each of them are missing a primary playmaker (New England without Gronkowski, New York without wide receiver Eric Decker) makes this one of those games the Jets will try to hang close and steal a win in the closing seconds. That means Forte should get plenty of chances to gash a Patriots run defense that has allowed 119.8 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry in their last five contests. If the Jets, who have averaged 151.3 yards and 5.0 yards per carry in their last four, can do that, it will keep Brady and the Patriots off the field and limit their scoring opportunities.

That’s why I’m recommending to take THE UNDER of 47 points for this game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

Chris AltrudaThis article was written by Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has spent more than two decades as a sportswriter, first for ESPN SportsTicker in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he rose to the level of college sports coordinator and was NCAA Men's Basketball Columnist. From there, he moved onto The Associated Press, where Chris started as an editorial assistant in their MegaSports division in the AP's headquarters in New York City before taking on the role of Scores Manager. He most recently served as an editor for nearly 11 years for STATS' editorial department based in Northbrook, Illinois, writing game previews for all US professional and major college sports as well as the English Premier League and international soccer. Currently a freelancer, Chris is still working the international soccer beat and other assorted projects. A native New Yorker and graduate of Marquette University who still refers to them as the Warriors, Chris is now holding out hope the Jets will reach a Super Bowl in his lifetime since the Cubs proved miracles are possible by winning the 2016 World Series. Chris can be found on Twitter at @AlTruda73

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