Tonight at 8:30 EST on NFL Network, the New York Jets will be squaring off with the New England Patriots in a crucial AFC East Match-Up. The winner will be atop what many call the most competitive division in football. The Jets and Patriots currently stand tied for the lead in the AFC East at 6-3. Tied for third below them are the once division leader Buffalo Bills and Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins at 5-4.
A win tonight would be a real confidence booster to a New York Jets franchise that has lost 12 of their last 13 meetings to the Patriots. I pick the Jets to win in this game. I think the Jets’ 5th ranked run defense lead by off season acquisition Kris Jenkins can out duel the Patriots’ run defense behind Jerod Mayo, which is still ranked 12th. The Jets really just went out and spent a lot of money this off season and it looks like it has paid off. You see a rushing offense that is 10th in the league in Touchdowns that only scored 1 rushing TD last year! That is all thanks to this improved offensive line behind Alan Faneca. I think Thomas Jones, Not Brett Favre will power this Jet offense to a win.
The remarkable thing in all of this is how the Patriots are still in the chase. When you look at the players they have lost, Tom Brady (No introduction needed), Starting RB Lawrence Maroney, Pro Bowl Veteran DB Rodney Harrison, and many more vital players, you have to look at the only possible reason still satnding for the success of this team. Bill Belichick. The man is making a playoff contender out of virtually nothing! A 23rd Ranked Pass Offense certainly isn’t the reason for this team winning! It is the unbelievable work that Belichick puts into his youngsters like BenJarvus Green Ellis. This undrafted free agent has burst on to the scene in New England, helping the Patriots become the 5th best running team in the NFL.
This match-up will prove to be a thriller, as division foes clash in what I am predicting will be a battle of offenses. I think the Patriots have an edge over the Jets when it comes to rushing offense, but the Jets would take passing and special teams. As for the defensive side of the ball, the addition of Ty Law will only help this Jets Defense better the Patriots’ weak secondary and put them over the top. I predict the Jets win 24-17.