New England Patriots vs. New York Jets AFC Showdown: Pats Look To Make Statement

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New England Patriots vs. New York Jets AFC Showdown: Pats Look To Make Statement
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Jets are guaranteed to not only win the AFC East, but the Super Bowl as well. So let it be written, so let it be done. I'm serious, ESPN has it in writing.

Rex Ryan signed it.

With New York's Jumbo Jet signing his name to a championship guarantee, this season's games are a mere formality.  Yup, Sexy Rexy looked into his crystal ball and saw the future. 

He honestly believes he's coaching the best team in football, and following record television ratings for HBO's "Hard Knocks" many in the media and in the stands seem to agree. 

This offseason was dominated by Jets talk. They were on TV during training camp. They were on Twitter during holdouts. They've been picked almost universally as a playoff team, in many cases as the division winners.

To quote Willie McGinest circa 2004, "In a heavyweight fight, you can't get the title unless you knock the champ out. We the champ, and they forgot it." McGinest was referring to the Steelers during the AFC Championship.  In this case, in this division, the Patriots are the champs, and the Jets seem to have forgotten it. 

McGinest also reminded his teammates on the sideline to "Stay humble. Don't talk about it, just be about it."  The Jets seem to have forgotten that too. The team spent most of the offseason preening for the press, singing their own praises and masquerading as champions.

Tom Brady's contract situation, haircut and car accident aside, there wasn't much buzz surrounding the Patriots.  They quietly went about their business.  We didn't hear much about Wes Welker's superhuman recovery from a torn ACL.  We didn't hear much (not good things anyway) about their young but lightning quick defense.  We didn't even hear much about their chances to repeat as division champs. 

Yet here we sit heading into Week 2 and the Jets are coming off a season-opening loss on their home turf with the Patriots coming to town after dismantling the Bengals.  The Patriots were overlooked the entire offseason.  They were disrespected.  Now they're angry, and you won't like them when they're angry.

Unless you're a Patriots fan in which case you love to see the veins in their collective forehead bursting as they unleash fury on their opponents.

The last time the Patriots had reason to feel this slighted was before the 2007 season when Spygate brought their past success crashing down around them.  We saw what happened in 2007.  We know what the Patriots do when they have something to prove.  They don't just beat teams, they embarrass them.

It's put up or shut up time in New York. 

A loss would give the Patriots a two-game lead, one that they would be unlikely to squander. I can't guarantee New England will win on Sunday, but I can guarantee this.

A Patriots victory will make a louder statement than New York's bigmouthed beluga whale ever could.

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