It is once again time for a clash of the AFC East titans. The New York Jets and New England Patriots both come into the game at 5-3 on the season, and are tied with the Buffalo Bills at the top of the division.
The scene at MetLife stadium will be all too familiar for both squads. Ever since Rex Ryan has taken over, it seems every game between the Pats and Jets has a direct impact on who will win the division crown and which team will make it into the playoffs.
Going into the game, the Patriots hold the upper hand because of their 30-21 Week 5 win at Gillette Stadium. The Jets will look for a win tonight to even out the head-to-head season series and take control of the division.
The two teams come in trending in completely different directions. The Jets are coming off two big victories, including a comeback win over the Chargers and a convincing win over the division rival Bills. These wins were sandwiched around the Jets' bye week, so the team is really hitting its stride and looking strong going into this Sunday Night Football matchup.
Coming into this game, the Patriots are trending down in a big way. After a Week 7 bye, they have lost back-to-back matchups against the Steelers and the Giants. Many people are looking at this as a must-win game for the Pats.
There will be storylines running throughout all aspects of the game tonight. For the Jets, we will be looking to see if they can contain Tom Brady and Wes Welker. Brady is throwing for a league-leading 326 yards per game, and Welker is hauling in a league-best 120 YPG. If the Jets want any chance to win tonight, they will need to have a big game out of their secondary and get real pressure out of their front four.
For the Patriots, they will look to shut down the Jets’ running attack and make Mark Sanchez win the game. The defense has been porous at best this season, and they will have to prove themselves against the Jets' running attack and big receivers in New York.