After watching the Rams-Chiefs game Monday, it’s easy to see who the top teams in each conference can be.
Although the Saints can be as strong an argument as the Rams. We easily could be looking at a 1 and 1A in either order in the NFC.
Besides the Chiefs, who is the second best team in the AFC?
Around this time of the season, the Patriots are usually recognized as the top team.
But are the 7-3 Pats mentioned in the same breath as the Chiefs? Or have the recent rise of the Steelers placed them with the Chiefs atop the conference? Pittsburgh (7-2-1) has overcome the loss of Le’Vean Bell and has ripped off six impressive wins.
The Jets will find out Sunday afternoon.
New England is coming into Met Life off a humiliating loss to Tennessee and a bye week. After a loss in the Bell Belichick era, the Pats are 41-12. They incurred rare consecutive losses early this season and it has occurred only 11 times during the Belichick-Brady era.
After a bye week, the Pats overall are 31-5-0.
Not a good sign for the Jets.
The Jets after a bye under Todd Bowles are 0-3. They did play the Pats off a bye in 2016 and lost, 22-17.
This one might not be that close.
This is the time for the Patriots to put the blinders on and get serious.
They are a completely healthy team and Belichick’s group will be as focused as cheetah on an antelope this late in the season.
With the emergence of the Chiefs and Steelers as well as their three losses, the Pats have become an afterthought.
Belihick will look to change that with a convincing, early advantage win.
Tom Brady will be looking to break out of a funk. The future Hall-of-Famer only has one touchdown pass in his last three games. Rob (“Gronk”) Gronkowski and Rex Burkhead should return to the lineup.
This will be interesting. The Jets are ranked 16th against the pass, allowing an average of 254 yards per game, and they have snagged five interceptions. They are ranked 22nd against the run.
On the other hand, the Jets are coming off a bye and conceivably the worst loss – maybe a tie with their 41-10 loss to the Colts and a 41-3 to the Pats both in 2016 – to the Bills (41-10) in the Bowles’ era.
They have a cavalcade of injuries notably WR Robby Anderson, G James Carpenter, S Marcus Maye, and LB Brandon Copeland, all of whom have not practiced this week.
Rookie QB Sam Darnold appears to be doubtful, but it not definite.
Josh McCown was well out of sync last week against the Bills, and the entire team –mainly the defense – can’t play as badly as they did with a bye week to regroup.
This will be a true test to see if the Jets have any fight left in them.
However, in all likelihood, it will show how much fight the Patriots have left in them.
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