Sunday sees the return of one of the biggest rivalries in the National Football League. The New York Jets travel to Foxbourgh, Massachusetts to face the number one seeds in the NFL the New England Patriots.
What a season it has been for the 14-2 New England Patriots. They started the season with very little hype around them, the fans still hurt about last years trimming at home in the playoffs at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. It wasn't until a 28-14 defeat by the Jets in game 2 and the subsequent trade of Randy Moss that a formidable monster was unleashed. The Patriots went on to end the year 13-1 after this defeat by their arch rivals. Their offense looking absolutely menacing, quarterback Tom Brady had so many options to pick with a pass that it didn't matter if someone was residing on 'Revis Island.' Whether it was Branch, Welker, Woodhead, Green-Ellis or rookie Gronkowski, Tom Brady always had multiple options on the football field which will keep the opposing defense guessing.
What pulled this whole season together for New England was their ingenious and undemonstrative coach Bill Belichick. Belichick's hunger for the game is truly inspiring, starting this year with numerous rookies, then trading their franchise wide receiver, one would be forgiven to think the Patriots were going through a transition period. Adversely the Patriots produced astonishing season which saw them finish as the best team in all of the NFL.
If you are looking from a far, it seems like the New York Jets' season has gone how they would have wished so far. Finishing a solid 11-5 Wild Card team behind the best team in the NFL in the AFC East is nothing to be ashamed of. However, the Jets have dealt with a wide scope of embarrassing off-the-field and on-field issues this season. I can summarize the many incidents the organization has encountered this season with the following list: (please feel free to google each incident for a guaranteed laugh):
- Hard Knocks (Ryan's loud mouth, his war of words with Tony Dungy)
- Darrelle Revis contract holdout
- Ines Sainz (Jets players heckled sexy media worker)
- Star Wide Receiver Braylon Edwards DUI
- Brett Favre's trial by the NFL for sending inappropriate photos of himself to a Jets co-worker (in 2008 while Favre was with the Jets)
- Foot fetish videos emerge of coach Rex Ryan's and his wife
- Sal Alosi & Tripgate (see below)
Last weekend the Jets produced a notable victory against Peyton Manning's (severally depleted) Indianapolis Colts. So then this week began the build-up for Sunday's match up. I foolishly thought the Jets (who are currently 9.5 point underdogs) might keep their heads down and not provoke Belichick's army. How wrong was I? The egotistical Rex Ryan has so far spent the whole week trash talking Belichick and the New England organization. My favourite Ryan quote: "This is about Bill Belichick versus Rex Ryan. There's no question, it's personal."
It could be argued that coach Ryan is trying to take some much needed attention off his team, particularly the under performing second season QB Mark Sanchez. Although a quick look at Ryan's history and I truly believe he considers it a personal match up, however against a three-time Superbowl winning coach it is a match up he is grossly under qualified to consider 'personal.' Finally, cornerback Antonio Cromartie's comments during the week for me summarize this Jets organization as the classless pretenders they are: "We really don't give a damn, to tell you the truth. ... [He's] an ass----. F--- him."
Thoughts, comments and opinions please...