If you haven't heard there is a Monday Night Football game featuring the Patriots and the Jets. The Patriots come in with a three game win streak while the Jets are winners of four straight. This game will have a playoff atmosphere and the winner of this game could go on to claim the AFC East Crown and likely home field advantage in the playoffs.
While the Jets have lived up to the hype of their offseason Super Bowl predictions, each has traveled a different route to this game.
The Patriots started the season with the sixth hardest schedule and the Jets were tied at 16. Since both are in the AFC East both play a similar schedule: six games against division opponents, eight games against the AFC and NFC North, and two games against an AFC west and south opponent.
On paper this looks like both teams have taken a pretty even path to 9-2. This is not the case.
The Jets have played three potential playoff teams: Baltimore, New England and the Packers, all at home; their record, 1-2. The Patriots have played five potential playoff teams: New York (A), Baltimore (H), San Diego (A), Pittsburgh (A) and Indianapolis (H); their record, 4-1.
Since their last meeting the Jets opponents have a combined record of 35-69 and the Patriots opponents have a 46-53 record. In the same time frame the Patriots have beaten four opponents by 10 points or more while the Jets have only won two games by that margin. During their win streaks leading up to this game the Patriots have won by an average of 12.3 points while the Jets have won by an average of seven.
In looking at each team's schedules up to this point, you have to feel that the Patriots have the "better" 9-2 record and it sets them up better for the postseason. Yes the Jets have two "good" losses two teams that are likely headed to the playoffs: the Ravens and Packers.
However, both games were at home and the offense combined for a total of nine points in those two games. The Patriots have an okay loss and a bad loss: a loss at the Jets and a loss at the Browns.
What should worry Jets fans is that if they claim home field advantage they have problems against good and bad teams at home. As of now the Jets are 4-2 at home while the Patriots are 5-0.
The Jets still have to face the Steelers on the road but their slim wins over the Broncos and Texans do not match up to the Pats wins versus the Colts and Chargers. In this battle for the home field advantage and the AFC East title, the Patriots have to feel good about their chances going into Monday night.