15. New York Jets (HOME – Week 17)
The Patriots destroyed the Jets when the two AFC East rivals met at Gillette Stadium last season. The score was 30-0 in favor of the home team with just 21 seconds left in the third quarter.
If not for two costly mistakes from two New England rookies last season, the Pats probably would have shut out the Jets last year during this matchup.
Unfortunately, wideout/returner Gunner Olszewski muffed a catch that was returned for a touchdown. As the third quarter ended and the fourth quarter began, Belichick pulled Brady with a 30-7 lead. Then-rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham came into the game, completed two passes, took a sack, and threw a pick-six to Jets Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams.
Disgusted, Belichick reinserted Brady and the fourth quarter concluded with no more points getting scored by either side.
In defense of the Jets, they played the 2019 version of this game with Luke Falk at quarterback. Falk was only starting because Sam Darnold (QB1) was out with mononucleosis and Trevor Siemian (QB2) was out with an ankle injury sustained the week prior.
Going solely off what we know from the quarterbacks and their respective draft pedigrees, it’d be fair to give the edge to a healthy Darnold in a rematch with the Stidham-led Patriots. But then again, we also saw a healthy Darnold last year versus this New England defense … and it wasn’t pretty.
Let’s give this win to New England as well, especially considering the fact that the game takes place in Week 17 — and for once, the Pats might actually be playing for their division and playoff hopes at that point in time.
Oddly enough, I really think the Patriots will start and finish their 2020 season with their most winnable games overall.