This Sunday the New England Patriots will be looking to seal up home field advantage throughout the entire AFC playoffs for the second year in a row.
Who would’ve circled Sunday’s matchup against the New York Jets to be one of the biggest games of the 2016 season for the Patriots at the start of the season? Certainly not me, but I did have the Pittsburgh Steelers game circled with a big red marker.
The Jets now have the opportunity to come into New England and really put a damper on the Patriots’ playoff outlook. The Patriots have already secured a first-round bye but with a win over the Jets, they’ll lockdown the number one overall seed in the AFC and home field advantage all the way up to the Super Bowl. Even with a loss, the Patriots can still get the number one spot if the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow lose to the worst team in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns.
If the Jets somehow find a way to win, it wouldn’t be the first time they found a way to screw up our playoff plans. Lets just go back to the final two games of the 2015 season. In week 16, the Jets found a way to steal a win in overtime down in Jersey. And then the following week the Miami Dolphins won in convincing fashion down in South Beach. Since the Patriots lost both games, they were only allotted a single home game during that playoff run where they eventually headed west to face the number one seeded, Denver Broncos. And we all remember how that game went down.
Tom Brady and the Patriots offense will look to take advantage of a Jets’ defense, who’s given up the ninth most yards and the tenth most points this season. It’s probably fair to expect a ground-and-pound type game out of both teams with temperatures predicted to be around 17 degrees at game-time.
Sunday afternoon the Patriots should roll into a frigid Gillette Stadium to do their job to finish off the season with a win over a below-average Jets team and earn their rightful spot on top of the AFC heading into the playoffs.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com