The Jets vs. Patriots game on Monday night football will give the winner sole possession of first place in the AFC East standings. Both the New York Jets and the New England Patriots come into the game with 9-2 records during the 2010 NFL season, but this could be the first really big test of the year for both franchises. They are currently tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in all of football, but one of these teams will not make it to 10 wins during week 13 of the season.
This will be the second time the Jets and Patriots have played this year, with the first game coming in week 2 of the season. The Jets won that game in New England with the score of 28-14, and with it took possession of the most important tie-breaker when it comes to winning the division. Now the Jets have the opportunity to take what amounts to a two-game lead over the Patriots on Monday night, with a win almost guaranteeing the Jets would win the AFC East title. The Patriots are well aware of this fact, though, and preparation for the game has probably been taken into account.
There are just five games left this season for both teams, obviously meaning just four after Monday night. The Jets have to play the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and then end the season with a game against the Buffalo Bills. The games against Pittsburgh and Chicago are going to be extremely tough, especially with how well those two teams have been playing. It means the Jets need a win against the Patriots right now to anchor down their best chance at winning the AFC East and hosting at least one playoff game at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The Patriots also have a very similar schedule to finish out 2010, with games against Chicago, Buffalo, and Miami as well. Their one other game is against the Green Bay Packers in week 15, which takes place on the road. They know how important winning this game on Monday night is going to be, and having to play it on the road is not the easiest of tasks right now. The Patriots have to work better on offense than they did in their week 2 loss to New York, or that result is going to repeat itself on a much bigger stage.
The Jets vs. Patriots game will be broadcast on ESPN for their Monday night football presentation, with the game taking place at 5:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. ET) Monday, Dec. 6.