In the midst of their worst slide since Rex Ryan became coach, the last thing the New York Jets need is a trip to New England.
On a Thursday night.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won 40 consecutive regular-season home games against AFC opponents and is 6-0 in Thursday night games. New England (4-2) has won its last two to grab sole possession of first place in the division.
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Meanwhile, New York (1-5) has lost every game after opening with a win over Oakland.
The Patriots (No. 10 in AP Pro32) are 9 1/2-point favorites over the Jets (No. 29).
Ryan’s team gets its share of sacks despite an inconsistent pass rush, but its secondary is in shambles. The prime-time matchup comes just as Brady is warming up after a slow start.
”Facing him?” Ryan said, noting that the Jets lost to Peyton Manning and the Broncos last Sunday. ”Back-to-back Hall of Fame guys; how many Hall of Famers are there playing a position in the league? I don’t know. But we have two in a row, first-ballot guys, obviously. So there is a huge challenge there. You know you’re going to face a guy that isn’t going to be surprised by a lot of things, again, but you have to put some kind of hesitation or some kind of doubt in him to maybe disrupt his rhythm a little bit.”
Brady has had some struggles against New York – he even lost a playoff home game to the Jets in January 2011. But he’s 18-5 against them in the regular season.
”I think it doesn’t really matter what their record is coming into this game because they are a great rival,” Brady said. ”We had a couple of bad weeks and have turned it around. They can turn it around just as easy.”
Not this week.
No. 24 Atlanta (plus 7) at No. 12 Baltimore
Falcons didn’t look too good at home, and we know they are awful on road.
BEST BET: RAVENS, 30-17
No. 18 Houston (plus 3 1/2) at No. 22 Pittsburgh, Monday night
Rested Texans pull off a prime-time …
UPSET SPECIAL: TEXANS, 20-17
No. 6 San Francisco (plus 6 1/2) at No. 1 Denver
Spiciest matchup of week. Manning will test Niners’ secondary.
No. 5 Seattle (minus 6 1/2) at No. 27 St. Louis
An ornery bunch of Seahawks not what Rams want to see.
No. 17 Kansas City (plus 4) at No. 2 San Diego
With Broncos up next in a short week, Chargers could get trapped here.
No. 21 New York Giants (plus 5 1/2) at No. 3 Dallas
Are Giants really that bad? Are Cowboys really that good?
No. 15 Cleveland (minus 5 1/2) at No. 32 Jacksonville
Look at this: Browns are favored on road. Then again, they’re facing Jaguars.
No. 8 Arizona (minus 3 1/2) at No. 31 Oakland
Even these banged-up Cardinals have a bit too much for Raiders.
No. 20 New Orleans (plus 3) at No. 13 Detroit
Two teams impossible to trust. Go with hosts.
No. 23 Miami (plus 3 1/2) at No. 16 Chicago
Two more teams impossible to trust. Go with hosts again.
No. 11 Cincinnati (plus 3) at No. 7 Indianapolis
From elite team to mediocrity? Bengals headed in wrong direction.
No. 14 Carolina (plus 7) at No. 9 Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers’ magic touch lifted Packers last week. He could need it again.
No. 25 Tennessee (plus 5) at No. 28 Washington
If Redskins are going to get off schneid, now is right time. Or maybe not.
No. 26 Minnesota (plus 4 1/2) at No. 19 Buffalo
Buffalo gets first win for new owners.
2014 RECORD: Against spread: This week (11-4); Season (47-39-3). Straight up: This week (10-4-1); Season (60-29-1)
Best Bet: 4-2 against spread, 5-1 straight up.
Upset special: 6-0 against spread, 4-2 straight up.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL