The New York Jets look for their fourth straight win and try to keep pace in the playoff race when they visit the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. The Jets currently hold the final wild-card berth but don’t control their own destiny as they need to continue to pile up the victories and have either Pittsburgh or Kansas City lose another game to have a shot at the postseason.
Led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets’ offense is firing on all cylinders. Fitzpatrick enters Saturday’s game with 24 touchdown passes, just five shy of Vinny Testaverde’s franchise record. His top targets, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, are also nearing milestones – Marshall is six receptions away from breaking Al Toon’s team single-season mark of 93 and Decker needs 125 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. Dallas’ offense is quite the opposite, falling completely apart since Tony Romo fractured his collarbone. Dez Bryant caught just one pass in the Cowboys’ 28-7 loss at Green Bay last week and the Cowboys have plummeted to 28th in the league in total offense.
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network.
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Cowboys as 3-point home dogs but that has moved to +3.5. The total opened at 42 but is down to 41.5.
WEATHER FORECAST: N/A
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Jets (-2.5) – Cowboys (+4) + home field (-3.0) = Jets -3.5
Jets – WR Jeremy Kerley (Questionable, calf), DB Dion Bailey (Questionable, ankle), DB Marcus Williams (Questionable, knee), RB Zac Stacy (Out for season, ankle), WR Devin Smith (I-R, knee), DE Mike Catapano (I-R, foot), G Willie Colon (I-R, knee), K Nick Folk (I-R, quad), S Antonio Allen (I-R, Achilles), TE Jace Amaro (I-R, shoulder), TE Zach Sudfeld (I-R, knee).
Cowboys – DE Demarcus Lawrence (Questionable, chest), CB Morris Claiborne (Questionable, hamstring), OL Chaz Green (Questionable, hip), LB Mark Nzeocha (Questionable, knee), LB Rolando McClain (Questionable, concussion), QB Tony Romo (Out for season, collarbone), Ryan Russell (I-R, abdominal), RB Lance Dunbar (I-R, knee), DT Terrell McClain (I-R, toe), CB Orlando Scandrick (I-R, knee).
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “With a three TD effort against the Titans, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick set his career high for TD passes and is now ranked in the Top 10 in QB rating for the first time in his career. Dallas enters Saturday?s home game against the Jets riding a 12-26 ATS run at home dating back to the start of the 2011 campaign; just 1-5 SU and ATS at Jerry?s World this year.” Covers Expert Teddy Covers.
ABOUT THE JETS (8-5 SU, 7-5-1 ATS, 7-6 O/U): New York has racked up 10 wins or more 10 times in its history and all 10 times it has reached the playoffs. This season, however, even 11 wins might not be enough for the Jets, who rank 10th in the NFL in points scored (25.0) and points allowed (19.7). New York lost receiver Devin Smith to a torn ACL last week and Jeremy Kerley is questionable with a calf injury, but its depth has been outstanding. Chris Ivory has rushed for 914 yards and his backup, Bilal Powell, has scored touchdowns in each of the past two weeks while amassing 190 yards from scrimmage.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (4-9 SU, 4-9 ATS, 5-8 O/U): Bryant admitted that his surgically repaired foot was hurting after last week’s game but Dallas has no plans of shutting him down for the season. Perhaps that’s because the Cowboys, who are 1-5 at home, are still mathematically alive for a playoff berth, but even owner Jerry Jones admitted those chances are “very, very slim.” Darren McFadden was the lone bright spot last week, gaining 111 yards on nine carries to leave him 202 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season that would net him a $300,000 bonus.
* Jets are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games in December.
* Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last seven home games.
* Under is 4-1 in Cowboys last five games following a straight up loss.
* Under is 4-1 in Jets last five games in December.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Seventy percent of Covers users are backing the Jets.