2011 NFL Schedule: Patriots-Jets Matchups Could Be Highlights of Regular Season

Adam Hirshfield@ahirshfieldFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks on near the end of their 28 to 21 loss to the New York Jets in their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The 2011 NFL schedule is set to be released Tuesday night, and as a New England Patriots fan, what’s the one thing I’m looking forward to?

The Pats’ semiannual matchup with Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts? Nope.

A Super Bowl revenge game against Eli Manning and the New York Giants? Not particularly.

Tilts against other AFC powers like the Steelers, Ravens or Chargers? Eh, no thanks.

No, what I’m getting ready to circle on my calendar are the two games against the AFC East rival New York Jets.

After a 14-2 regular season, MVP Tom Brady and the Patriots were the better team heading into the playoffs last season and seemed primed for a Super Bowl run. Yet the Jets outplayed them in Foxborough as Rex Ryan and company created a phenomenal defensive game plan that stifled Brady’s passing game. The day ended with the J-E-T-S pulling out a 28-21 upset.

“It’s like you’re on the treadmill running at 10 miles an hour and then someone just hits the stop button,” Brady told the Associated Press after the game. “I think we’re a pretty good football team, but not when we play like today.”

“We were ready to play,” said New England coach Bill Belichick. “We just didn’t do a good job.”

I can’t wait for the Patriots to get back on the field against their heated rivals with something to prove.

And I don’t think Brady, Belichick and crew can either.

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