The New England Patriots return from their bye week on Sunday, and they needed to be well-rested with what’s ahead of them.
In the span of 12 days, the Patriots will play the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills – teams with a combined record of 20-7. Each ranks in the top 12 of the NFL in scoring defense.
· MINKAH FITZPATRICK WANTED TO PLAY DAY AFTER APPENDECTOMY
· 85 PLAYERS WITH ALABAMA FOOTBALL ROOTS ON PRO BOWL BALLOT
· JALEN HURTS SEES OPPORTUNITY IN EAGLES’ FIRST SETBACK
New England hosts the Jets on Sunday afternoon, visits the Vikings on Thanksgiving night and kicks off the NFL’s Week 13 with another Thursday night game against the Bills in Foxborough.
“It’s a great challenge,” New England quarterback Mac Jones said on Wednesday, “and we obviously have a great opponent this week in the Jets. They’re playing the best football as anyone in the league right now. I’m excited for this one, and kind of go from there. There’s a lot of games coming up, and this is a great time to make a good push.”
The Patriots haven’t played since beating the Indianapolis Colts 26-3 on Nov. 6.
“A lot of us are working on different things every day, and the bye week’s a great time to do that,” Jones said. “For me, just making sure my feet and eyes are in the right place and continue to go through my reads and continue to improve in the weight room, nutrition, all that stuff, so it’s a full audit of yourself, I guess you can call it. Kind of look at yourself and see what you can do better. …
“I think every staff around the league, they’re working through things in the bye week. You obviously have your identity and what you want to be and how you can get there. There’s some things you can improve during the bye week, so we want to continue to improve every week, and then obviously in the bye week, too. But now it’s time to focus on the Jets: How can we get ready for this game?”
At 5-4, New England sits in the bottom spot in the AFC East. But with eight weeks remaining in the regular season, the Patriots are in a postseason position, a quick turnaround after a bumpy September.
Jones sustained an ankle injury in a 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 25, and the former Alabama All-American missed the next three games and most of a fourth. Backup Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion in New England’s first game without Jones, leaving the Patriots with rookie Bailey Zappe at quarterback until Jones returned.
In his first full game back, Jones endured six sacks by the Jets as New England topped New York 22-17 on Oct. 30.
RELATED: C.J. MOSLEY CAUSES PATRIOTS TO EVALUATE PLAY-CALLING
“It was good for everybody, I think,” Jones said of the time off. “In the NFL, obviously, when you get your bye week, you get to rest your body, your mind, whatever it is, so for me it definitely helped. Other guys are dealing with other stuff. They got the rest they needed, so we’re excited for this one.”
FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OUR NFL PAGE
The Alabama Game of the Week is the Jets-Patriots contest on Sunday. Fifteen players from Alabama high schools and colleges are on the teams’ active rosters.
The complete Week 11 schedule (with all times Central and with point spreads from vegasinsider.com):
· Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers (-3), 7:15 p.m. (Prime Video)
· Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-3), noon (WBRC, WZDX, WCOV, WDFX)
· Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens (-13), noon
· Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-7.5), noon
· Washington Commanders (-3.5) at Houston Texans, noon
· Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at Indianapolis Colts, noon (WKRG, WAKA, WTVY)
· New York Jets at New England Patriots (-3.5), noon (WIAT, WHNT)
· Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3.5), noon (WALA)
· Detroit Lions at New York Giants (-3), noon
· Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-2.5), 3:05 p.m.
· Dallas Cowboys (-1.5) at Minnesota Vikings, 3:25 p.m. (WIAT, WHNT, WKRG, WAKA, WTVY)
· Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers, 3:25 p.m.
· Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) at Los Angeles Chargers, 7:20 p.m. (NBC, Universo)
· San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) at Arizona Cardinals, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have open dates in Week 11.
CHECK OUT MAPS OF SUNDAY’S BROADCAST TV COVERAGE
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
Leave a Reply