This is the NFL’s version of the haves and have nots squaring off.
Last year’s 7-9 record ended a run of 19 straight winning seasons for New England but a win on Sunday would give the Patriots their 19th campaign with at least 10 wins in the last 21 seasons.
Jacksonville Jaguars will finish with double-digit losses for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons and have just one winning season since the start of the 2008 season.
Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence and New England’s Mac Jones were among five quarterbacks selected in the first 15 picks in the 2021 NFL draft. They rank No. 1 and 2 among rookies in passing yards, completions and attempts. Jones (-600) is the favorite to be named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Jones, who played at Alabama, and Lawrence, a star at Clemson, met once in college. In the 2019 national championship game won by Clemson Lawrence threw for 347 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and also had 27 rushing yards while Jones did not attempt a pass and lost two yards on his only rushing attempt.
Jacksonville has been eliminated from playoff contention but New England still has a chance to win the AFC East title.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
- Game: Jacksonville (2-13) at New England (9-6)
- Location: Gillette Stadium
- Day/Time: Sunday, January 2, 1 p.m. ET
- Television: CBS
|Jacksonville||+15½ (-110)||+700||41½ (-110o)|
|New England||-15½ (-110)||-1000||41½ (-110u)|
Blake Bortles threw three touchdown passes in the first half as Jacksonville built an 18-point lead. New England would get as close as 11 points twice in the fourth quarter but Jacksonville posted the 31-20 win to snap an eight-game losing streak to New England.
The game went over the 44½-point total on Bortles’ fourth touchdown pass of the game midway through the fourth quarter.
Next game: vs. Indianapolis
The visiting Jacksonville Jaguars were listed by the NFL betting lines as 2½-point underdogs against the New York Jets.
Matthew Wright’s field goal with 25 seconds left in the third quarter pulled Jacksonville within a point but a Zach Wilson touchdown pass and Eddy Pineiro field goal helped the Jets to the 26-21 win. Pineiro’s field goal with 1:47 left pushed the game over the 43-point total. It was the second straight Jacksonville game to go over the total.
Linebacker Dakota Allen (shoulder), offensive lineman Will Richardson (finger) as well as tight ends Dan Arnold (knee) and James O’Shaughnessy (hip) are questionable.
Defensive ends Josh Allen, K’Lavon Chaisson, Jordan Smith, Jihad Ward and Lerentee McCray, defensive tackles Malcom Brown, Jay Tufele and Davon Hamilton, tight ends Luke Farrell, Jacob Hollister and Chris Manhertz, offensive linemen Brandon Linder, Andrew Norwell, Cam Robinson and Ben Bartch, defensive back Rudy Ford, linebackers Myles Jack, Damien Wilson and Dylan Moses and receivers Jaydon Mickens and Laviska Shenault are on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Receiver DJ Chark (ankle), running backs Carlos Hyde (concussion) and James Robinson (Achilles), safety Rayshawn Jenkins (ankle) and punter Logan Cooke are on injured reserve.
New England Patriots
Next game: at Miami
The New England Patriots were listed by the Las Vegas odds as one-point favorites against the visiting Buffalo Bills in a crucial AFC East contest.
Josh Allen threw two of his three touchdown passes in the first half as the Bills led by 10 points at halftime. A pair of Damien Harris touchdown runs in the second half enabled the Patriots to keep it a one-score game before Allen’s TD pass to Dawson Knox with 2:30 left clinched Buffalo’s 33-21 win.
The game went over the 43½-point total on Harris’ TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
Receiver Nelson Agholor (concussion), offensive lineman David Andrews (shoulder), defensive lineman Christian Barmore (knee), defensive back Joshuah Bledsoe, running backs Damien Harris (hamstring) and Brandon Bolden (knee) and kicker Nick Folk (knee) are questionable.
Nelson Agholor (concussion) and Joshuah Bledsoe (calf) didn’t practice for the Patriots. Another 10 were limited, including Damien Harris (hamstring), N’Keal Harry (hip), Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jakobi Meyers (thigh).
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) December 29, 2021
Linebackers Matt Judon, Brandon King, Josh Uche and Ja’Whuan Bentley and defensive lineman Deatrich Wise are on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Tight end Dalton Keene (knee) and linebacker Ronnie Perkins (shoulder) are on injured reserve.
Betting on the Game
New England is favored by more than 15 points for the first time since December 29, 2019, game against Miami and the Patriots lost that game.
The Patriots have the third-rated defense in the NFL allowing only 315.5 yards per game. Jacksonville is last in the NFL in scoring offense with just 14.5 points per game. The Jaguars’ offense will be without perhaps its best player as running back James Robinson is on injured reserve.
While New England has one of the best road records (6-1) in the NFL, the Patriots are just 3-5 at home. However, Jacksonville is one of two teams yet to win a road game this season.
New England has won its last eight games at home against Jacksonville.
Something that could be of interest to those who bet online, the total has gone over in New England’s last five home games.
Jacksonville has failed to cover in its last six games but has covered in four of its last six games against New England.