All the trends point to taking the New England Patriots

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PATRIOTS (7-3) at JETS (4-6), 8:20 p.m.

Patriots by 7;

O/U: 48 1/2

TV: Ch. 4 Radio: ESPN (98.7)

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I've had more fun at Rex Ryan's expense in this column than I care to admit. But I have to say, I like the way Rexy handled things this week when it came to New England. Ryan gave the Patriots plenty of praise (even calling Tom Brady a "machine"), and basically kept his mouth shut, not poking the bear, in this case, the Kings of the AFC East. The Jets played one of their best games of the season in Week 7, but still lost in OT to New England, 29-26. Gang Green dropped two more games after that, before rebounding Sunday in a win at St. Louis. The Jets' inconsistent running game came to life vs. the Rams with the two-headed attack of Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell, who registered his first two TDs of the season. Could this be a sign of things to come? Maybe. Many have spoken to the injury to Pats TE Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm) as a plus for the Jets. New England (NFL-best plus-20 turnover margin) should have TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle) coming back. But Hernandez hasn't played since Week 7 vs. the Jets, and I'm not sure how effective he'll be. However, the Pats are one of the NFL's best road teams this decade: 53-25-3 against the spread (ATS) in their last 81 road games. Plus, the Patriots are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. the Jets. I believe the Jets' slim playoff hopes end here.

THE PICK: Patriots

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