Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Not A "Must Win" Against Jets, But As Close As You Can Get This Early In Season

As far as early season football games go, they don't come much bigger than this Sunday's matchup between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots.

The Jets are off to a 4-1 start, just a game behind the undefeated Patriots in the AFC East Division - which is neither here nor there for a week 7 game, but just the fact that it's a divisional game at Foxborough is compelling enough, because holding serve at home is essential to tie breakers for the division title...
Brady will most assuredly be fired up for the Jets

...but what makes it even more important is the fact that the winner of this game will hold the lead in the division.

If the Jets win, they will have an identical record with New England at 5-1, but will own the tie breaker with head-to-head wins, though the Patriots will have a chance to avenge a loss two days after Christmas at MetLife Stadium - but a Patriots' win puts them two games up on New York, plus they will hold the head-to-head tie breaker.

The two teams' remaining schedules are of consideration as well.

After this game, the Patriots' schedule sees them hosting Miami and Washington in consecutive weeks, then going to MetLife to take on the Giants, then home to host Buffalo, followed by a showdown with the Broncos at Denver, hosting the Eagles, at Houston, home for Tennessee then finishing the regular season at the Jets and at Miami...

...while the Jets travel to Oakland, then are home for Jacksonville and Buffalo, then they go to Houston, return home to face Miami, the Giants and the Titans, then go to Dallas with a home game against New England and a trip to Buffalo to finish up their schedule.

Having to go to Denver and making two trips to New York and finishing the season with two consecutive road games makes the Patriots' schedule a bit tougher, as the only real challenge the Jets still face is the prospect of playing at Dallas at a point when the Cowboys should have their offense intact.

So it is conceivable that if the Jets keep playing as they are capable, that the Week 16 matchup with the Patriots on December 27th could be for the division, but a Patriots' win this coming Sunday makes that prospect less likely.

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