NFL Power Rankings: The Jets Should Take AFC East with Win Against Patriots

Louis MustoContributor IIINovember 10, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 6: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets calls an audible during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The New York Jets faced some early struggles, but a solid victory over the New England Patriots should guarantee them their first AFC East title since 2002.

After a rough schedule to start the season, the Jets managed to escape with a 5-3 record, tied with the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills for the AFC East lead. Now, with eight games down and eight to go, the Jets are looking at one of the easier schedules in the NFL.

A victory over the Patriots at home in MetLife Stadium should make the AFC East title a certainty for New York with their only remaining tests following the Patriots matchup, come on the road against the sputtering Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15 and New York Giants in Week 16 at their home in MetLife Stadium.

With matchups against the lowly Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, struggling Kansas City Chiefs and a Buffalo Bills team they defeated quite handily in Buffalo in Week 9, the Jets should be able to get out of those Week 15 and Week 16 games with a loss and still finish as the AFC East champions.

The only concern is the Patriots, who have no tougher a schedule than the Jets, with games against the Eagles and Bills being their toughest remaining tests following the Jets. That leaves the Jets with one option—beat the Patriots.

The Jets are 2-0 at home against the Patriots under Rex Ryan. The Patriots are playing with a two-game losing streak, headed in the opposite direction of the Jets—they have won three straight—after following to defeat at the hands of the Jets’ stadium-mates, the New York Giants.

The Patriots bring the NFL’s worst defense to MetLife Stadium, giving the Jets reformed offense an even greater advantage at home.

The Jets defense is one of the best in the league, especially at turnovers, which Tom Brady has done quite a bit of lately. As long as the Jets can capitalize on Brady’s foolish mistakes and do enough on offense to put some points on the board, their Week 10 showdown and the AFC East is theirs for the taking.

Louis Musto's Week 10 Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers 8-0
2. San Francisco 49ers 7-1
3. Baltimore Ravens 6-2
4. New York Giants 6-2
5. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-3
6. New Orleans Saints 6-3
7. Detroit Lions 6-2
8. New England Patriots 5-3
9. Houston Texans 6-3
10. Chicago Bears 5-3
11. New York Jets 5-3
12. Cincinnati Bengals 6-2
13. Atlanta Falcons 5-3
14. Buffalo Bills 5-3
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-4
16. Oakland Raiders 4-4
17. Dallas Cowboys 4-4
18. San Diego Chargers 4-4
19. Kansas City Chiefs 4-4
20. Philadelphia Eagles 3-5
21. Tennessee Titans 4-4
22. Denver Broncos 3-5
23. Carolina Panthers 2-6
24. Cleveland Browns 3-5
25. Washington Redskins 3-5
26. Minnesota Vikings 2-6
27. Seattle Seahawks 2-6
28. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6
29. Arizona Cardinals
30. St. Louis Rams
31. Miami Dolphins 1-7
32. Indianapolis Colts 0-8