The New York Jets and New England Patriots' first meeting of the 2020-21 season was one of the most unexpectedly entertaining games of the year. A back-and-forth battle between Cam Newton and Joe Flacco culminated in a Nick Folk Patriots game-winning field goal that kept the Patriots playoff hopes and the Jets' undefeated season alive.
In Week 17, the matchup now has little to no stakes. The Patriots and Jets are both long eliminated from the 2021 playoffs, and the Jets have locked up the second overall pick in the 21 NFL Draft.
This matchup is, however, a battle of pride between the soon-to-be-fired Adam Gase trying to show he is worthy of future NFL jobs and the future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick trying to keep a 10-loss season off his resume.
New York Jets vs New England Patriots Head to Head
Despite recent history, the Patriots "only" lead the Jets/Patriots all-time head-to-head 68-54-1. New England has won the last nine meetings between these two franchises, even holding the Jets to three or fewer points in three of those matchups.
Earlier this year, New England beat the Jets 30-27.
New York Jets vs New England Patriots Team News
Multiple reports have come out that Jets head coach Adam Gase has been told he will be fired at the end of the season, though Gase has said that "news to me." While still stuck in the 2020-21 season, most Jets fans and likely executives already have their eyes on 2021-22 and the NFL Draft.
With the second overall pick, the Jets biggest game this weekend might not even be their own matchup, but the College Football Semi-Final between Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence (two of the 2021 draft's top QB prospects).
The Patriots are in a state of flux as well, with many players opting out for the 2020 season, and attempting to teach Cam Newton a new system with little offseason training, the team's struggles are not unexpected. Where the Pats go from here, and who returns next season, remains a mystery.
Julian Edelman will continue to miss time with an injury, not suiting up Sunday, and his status for 2021 is still unclear, according to NESN reports.
New York Jets vs New England Patriots Predicted Starters
New York Jets:
QB: Sam Darnold
RB: Frank Gore
WR: Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, Breshad Perriman
TE: Chris Herndon
QB: Cam Newton
RB: Damien Harris
WR: Jakobi Myers, N'Keal HArry
TE: Devin Asiasi
New York Jets vs New England Patriots Predictions
Neither of these teams have much to play for aside from pride. Jets coach (for now) Adam Gase will pull out all the stops in his last attempt to build on a dreadful resume as New York head coach.
If the Patriots lose they will have one of their first 10-loss seasons in decades, but their 2021 draft pick could fall within the top 10.
With more to play for in a seemingly meaningless game, the Jets will win their third game in a row, and third game of the season.
Sam Darnold leads the Jets to a touchdown win