This Sunday the Patriots and Jets will meet once again in a rivalry that has become one of the fiercest in the NFL. The Patriots will be without Tom Brady who suffered a tornACL and is done for the year. The injury to Brady has given the Jets a one time chance to win the division and become a threat in the AFC. Given the performances of both the Colts and Chargers, it appears that there will be a new team contending in the AFC. Which makes Sunday's game so important.
If the Jets beat the Patriots on Sunday, they will achieve three things. First, they will be 2-0 when many experts had them at 1-1 or even 0-2. These two division wins would provide so much for the Jets. They would have a one game edge on the Dolphins and Pats, and it would mean that the Jets wouldn't lose a tiebreaker between these two teams since the worst they can do is split the season series. Second, it would establish the Jets as a contender in the AFC. They would have a better record than the Colts, Chargers, and Jags in a conference where every year playoff spots are on the line in the last game. Lastly, it would turn the tables of this rivalry towards the City of New York.
Though the Giants upset the Patriots in February, the City of Boston still has the advantage due to the Celtics winning the NBA Finals and the fact that the Red Sox are still in contention for a playoff spot when the Yankees are preparing to play golf in October for the first time in Derek Jeter's career. If the Jets win on Sunday New York will be able to boast that they have the only two teams that have beaten the Patriots sinceJanurry 2007. It will also cause the citizens of Boston to realize that without Tom Brady they will play second fiddle in the AFC East. But if the Jets lose, the consequences could be severe.
Not only will they blow a chance to stick it to the Patriots for all the things that have occurred from Spygate to Branch they will also seriously wound themselves. If they lose the mindset in the locker room will clearly be that if they can't beat the Patriots even without Tom Brady. It will also show how the Jets may still be a wild card team at best and that they will not be a serious contender in the AFC. Most of all, it gives a chance for Bostonians to boast to New Yorkers how the Patriots are so much better than the Jets that they won't even need Brady to beat them.