30 November 2010
There's A LOT at stake Monday night. Yes, I'm going out on a limb, all right?!
If the Jets win Monday night, there is a good chance they will win the AFC East and quite possibly earn the No. 1 seed in the NFL's premier conference. With that said, nothing is for certain.
Due to the fact my youthful innocence is dwindling by the day and I need to find a job, I've lacked time this week (the penultimate of the semester) to produce original content.
But hey, that's why we love being part of the Bloguin family!
Our boyzzz at Foxboro Blog have broken down every mathematical possibility pertaining to the Jets-Pats battle for AFC East supremacy.
Here is what they found for the Jets. (To read the fantastic article in its entirety, click here.)
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that THE game of the 2010 NFL Regular season will be played Monday night, December 6th in Foxboro. You've got two teams with identical, league-leading 9-2 records, who happen to play in the same division, and who absolutely despise each other. Jets/Pats is clearly the #1 rivalry in the league at the moment and a decade and a half's worth of bad blood, scandal, and trash talk is going to come to an ugly head in front of a prime time National TV audience.
Still, for all the hyperbole, the fact remains that this is a regular season, divisional game. It's no more important that the Week 2 matchup between these teams, and honestly, only slightly more important than when New England heads to Buffalo in Week 16. So I'm going to bypass all the superlatives, and for the sake of this article, focus strictly on how this game affects each team's ability to accomplish their ultimate goal - winning Super Bowl XLV.
Let's take a look at the current standings across the AFC, just to get a feel for the landscape:
Now, clearly, whoever wins Monday's game will hold a 10-2 record and be the front-runner for the AFC East title. However, despite the advantage that a win might bring, the victor is still by no means guaranteed to take the division crown. After Monday night, there will be four games remaining on the schedule for each team, and the NFL is a league where absolutely anything can, and usually does, happen. On that note, here's what Weeks 14-17 hold for the Patriots and Jets:
|14||@ CHI||vs. MIA|
|15||vs. GB||@ PIT|
|16||@ BUF||@ CHI|
|17||vs. MIA||vs. BUF|
Scenario #1: If the Jets Win...
I'll start off by giving the rundown of a Jets' victory since the possibilities are much more limited if Gang Green gets the W. They would be 10-2, while the Patriots would be 9-3. The Jets would have won both regular season contests between the teams, giving them the #1 tie breaker edge. This means that the Patriots would have to finish with an outright better record than New York to take the AFC East.
However, all is not lost, even though New England would need to make up two games in the final four weeks on the Jets. New York has three games left on the schedule which could pose problems for them. Home against Miami, at Pittsburgh, and at Chicago are certainly not "gimmee" games. The Jets could realistically drop two of those three. If they did, however, New England would need to counter by running the table during its final four games. Unfortunately for the Pats, at Chicago, vs. Green Bay, and vs. Miami aren't cupcake games either.
Scenario 1a: Jets go 3-1 or better down the stretch - Jets win
Scenario 1b: Jets go 2-2, 1-3, or 0-4 down the stretch, AND New England goes 4,0, 3-1, or 2-2, respectively - Patriots win
The bottom line is that the Patriots aren't completely sunk if they lose, but would likely need to play perfect down the stretch and get some help to claim the AFC East.