Coming off a water-logged win at Levi’s Stadium over the San Francisco 49ers, the New England Patriots remain on the road for their next contest. However, this one will be much closer to home when they face the division rival New York Jets in the 115th meeting between the two franchises.
The two teams are currently going in different directions, with the Pats leading the AFC East with a 8-2 mark and the Jets looking up from the bottom with their 3-7 record. In New York’s case, their up-and-down performances have seen them split their first two games, lose the next four before then winning and losing two contests in a row. With their disappointing record, Jets fans are already looking towards the 2017 NFL Draft. Such inconsistency has pretty much defined this rivalry, which dates back to the first year of the American Football League in 1960. Each team has had peaks and valleys along the way, with the Belichick era showing New England with a 23-11 record since his arrival in 2000. The brief Eric Mangini era brought with it the infamous Spygate escapade that stained New England’s dynasty-like success. The Pats’ win over the Jets that season helped Belichick’s team become the only team ever to finish 16-0 during the regular season, though it went for naught when they lost to the other New York team, the Giants. The series has seen six overtime battles, including the last one in Week 16 last year. That loss proved to be costly for New England, since they ended up having to travel to Denver for the AFC title game instead of hosting it in Foxborough. Two odd moments stand out in the rivalry: on Thanksgiving night 2012, Mark Sanchez's butt fumble speeded up his departure from the team. Equally strange was the ending to the first-ever meeting on September 17, 1960. The Jets were punting deep in their own territory with 12 seconds left, holding a 24-21 lead. However, a bad snap resulted in a fumble and the Patriots returned it for the score in their 28-24 victory. Looking at the numbers would seemingly put the Jets in deep trouble, since Todd Bowles’ crew has allowed 21 points or more in eight of their 10 games. Meanwhile, the Patriots rank near the top in least points allowed and have a 5-0 record on the road this season. The Jets are coming off a bye week, which hasn’t been good to them in recent years. The last seven byes have resulted in a 2-5 record in their first game back. They may give New England a good fight like they have in each of the last three years in the Meadowlands, but the Pats should pick up the victory.