Nothing more needs to be said. In a crazy NFL season, we finally have a game that is everything it was supposed to be. Tonight is the culmination of a series of events that began last season during the Jets playoff run. It built steam with hard knocks, reached an epic level with Rex Ryan comparing his wife to Tom Brady's and will hopefully climax with a classic Monday night battle between the team of the 2000's and the presumptive team of the 2010's.
The first game between these two felt a little bumpy. Both teams were trying to figure things out, but tonight the Jets and Patriots are riding four and three game winning streaks, respectively, so no excuses this time.
The Pats offense has been rolling with over 30 points in four straight games. Brady hasn't thrown an interception since Week 6, and during that span he has 13 TDs. He is at the the pinnacle of his craft with a passer rating of 117 in three straight games and is the sixth ranked fantasy QB for the season. All this with Deion Branch as his top receiver—this might just be his finest season yet.
The vaunted Jets passing defense won't do much to slow down Brady, as the Pats are middle of the road in points allowed to QB's and WR's. The Pats running game is normally "like a box of chocolates," but tonight, against the No. 1 ranked rush defense we know EXACTLY what we are going to get—zero. Although, here's hoping "Hard Knocks" folk hero Danny Woodhead sticks it to his former team.
The Jets have won three in a row, but many were very close affairs and ended on long bombs from Mark Sanchez to Santonio Holmes. You could see a few more of these hook-ups in tonight's game; over the last three games, Santonio Holmes has earned the No. 1 receiver spot as he's scored four touchdowns over that span. It's unlikely that the Patriots, 29th in points allowed to QB's and 27th to WR's, will pose much of a challenge to the Jets passing attack, so we might even see Dustin Keller regain his early season form.
At the start of this year, Shonn Greene was a trendy pick for a breakout player. What was there not to like? He had a great run in the playoffs, a great offensive line and new WR weapons to take the pressure off of him. What could go wrong? Oh yeah, the hall of famer with a chip on his shoulder. LaDainian Tomlinson burst from the gate and took control of the running game, leaving Greene owners with a gaping hole on their roster.
Fear not, Greene owners, a look at the touches over the last four games shows things trending Greene's way. Unfortunately, neither LT nor Greene is putting up huge fantasy numbers over that time span. But this might just be what the fantasy doctor ordered: the Patriots are 25th in fantasy points allowed to running backs. The Jets put up 136 rushing yards in the first game and the Patriots have a bend-but-don't-break scheme, so there are plenty of points to be racked up during the "bend."
The Patriots give up yards, points and most importantly, fantasy points. The Jets have been surprisingly generous to opposing teams' passing games, but you can't run on them, so don't even try (sorry Green-Ellis owners). These teams don't really like each other, so I'd expect some chippiness to go along with the scoring. As for the result, late in the season, at home, on Monday night with the division on the line and a hot QB leading the way, it's impossible to bet against the Patriots.
Written by Chris Summers exclusively for thefantasyfix.com.
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