I give a lot of credit to the job head coach Robert Saleh has done in year 3, turning the Jets defense into one of the more fearsome units in the league. Sauce Gardner is just straight nasty, and will likely give Patrick Surtain Jr. a run for the #1 cornerback in the NFL distinction as early as next season. The difference in this game comes down to quarterback play for me, and it’s just difficult not to see Zach Wilson making some costly mistakes against a Patriots defense that feasts on inexperienced QB’s who are prone to turning the ball over. While both of these teams are coming off a bye, and have had plenty of time to prepare for each other, I’ve got to give the edge to Bill Belichick, in Foxborough, playing against a franchise he has perennially owned since famously resigning after one day as the Jets head coach.
New England Patriots -3
This pick comes down to the weather, which is calling for a lot of snow. The Browns are built for these types of conditions, with their offense powered behind a strong offensive line / run game, and while the Bills are far and away the better team, I think Cleveland will be able to hang around in this one, unlike this past Sunday in Miami against a potent Dolphins passing attack. Xavien Howard shadowed Amari Cooper all over the field, completely taking him out of the game, but I don’t expect that to be the case against Buffalo. While it appears Josh Allen will be able to play through his UCL injury, he certainly didn’t look as accurate in Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, throwing 2 red zone interceptions. I’m confident Buffalo will win this game, but I think this is too many points.
Cleveland Browns +8.5
Now that this line has moved under 7 points, I’m jumping on the Eagles. The fact Jeff Saturday won in his head coaching debut against the Raiders is just yet another reason why Josh McDaniels needs to be fired, ASAP – I’m sure he’ll have his old job waiting for him again in New England. This is a poor matchup for the Colts, as the Eagles have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and I’ll be shocked if they don’t win this game by more than a touchdown, especially given the extra motivation of coming off their first loss of the season on Monday night against the Commanders, in a game where they were favored by double digits.
Philadelphia Eagles -6.5