Quick, who had a four-way tie in the AFC East entering the third Sunday of October?
The Bills and Dolphins did not have high expectations and yet here they are tied with both the Jets and Patriots.
Still, this matchup will be devastating for New England if they were to lose in their own stadium. After all, the Pats are still the same offense that can gash your defense apart thanks to three and four receiver sets that are nearly impossible.
Wes Welker (ankle), Rob Gronkowski (hip), Aaron Hernandez (ankle) and Brandon Lloyd (hip) are legit stars that have all been dinged up with some nagging injuries.
It is not at all bizarre how the two leapers and high-flyers if you will are dealing with hip issues and the two possession stars are suffering from ankle injuries, although Hernandez was much tougher being a high sprain.
Still, Brady has the boys prepared as ever and this is a crucial game that can go a long ways towards their potential Super Bowl run in January and February.
The postseason is essentially what everything is about, but maintain consistency and staying healthy along the way will only help your team out down the road.
New England is arguably more experienced than any team in the entire NFL, so they have been in these many times just in the last few years. Going back to the last decade the deadly duo of Brady and the ‘Hoody’ has wreaked havoc on everybody who has stood in the way of their dominance.
Mark Sanchez, Jeremy Kerley and Rex Ryan does not exactly scream world-beaters and it seems as if this team could be in a for a rude awakening.
The key matchup will be star corner Antonio Cromartie likely shadowing the best slot target in the game, Wes Welker. It will be interesting to see if they move Cromartie around since Gronk, Hernandez and Lloyd are tough to defend once they get downfield.
The offensive line still is a weak link for New England that the Jets will look to exploit, but Brady’s pocket prescence alone has seemed to offset that so as long as Stevan Ridley is finding running room to maneuver with.
Last week against the heavyweight defense known as the Seattle Seahawks, there was not much going on the ground as they were bottled up the entire day.
Look for more establishing of the running game which will eventually open the intermediate to deep passes for Welker/Hernandez and Lloyd/Gronk.
The biggest concern for New England last week in their stunning defeat was their inability to score in the redzone. There were seven opportunities for the Patriots to score six instead of three or zero, and instead they ate a bunch of bagels.
They inexplicably ran out of time at halftime and a brutal interception in the fourth quarter let to their demise. The other four possessions went as the following: TD, TD, FG, time ran out, FG, FG, INT.
Look for much better execution and the Patriots should put together a blue collar approach as they will remind us all exactly what they are capable of.
Note: The Patriots will give us their throwbacks as they will be wearing their 1985 old style uniforms (see bloodbath Super Bowl loss in 1985-1986 to Chicago)
Network: CBS (712)
Time: 4:25 p.m. Eastern
Experts Pick: Patriots by 10.5
Danny V’s Pick: Patriots 31, Jets 17