Found November 09, 2011 on
It???s all here now for the Jets .
This is everything they???ve craved since the moment Rex Ryan marched through the big glass doors at Florham Park and predicted that White House visit.
Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, where the 5-3 Jets play the 5-3 Patriots for control of the AFC East, might as well be Christmas morning with the Patriots playing the part of that big gift sitting under the tree ready for the wrapping paper to be ripped off of it.
The Patriots look as vulnerable as they???ve been since Ryan came to the Jets and boldly promised he wouldn???t kiss Bill Belichick???s rings. The Patriots??? stronghold on the division, which they???ve won eight of the last 10 years, is as set up to be taken down as it has ever been in the last decade.
They???ve lost two consecutive games in which their once-dominant Tom Brady-led offense has looked pedestrian.
Their defense has become sieve-like, particularly against the pass.
Their intimidating streak of scoring 30 or more points per game seems like it took place when Steve Grogan was throwing touchdown passes to Randy Vataha. They had done it in 16 of their last 21 regular-season games before going the last three scoring fewer than 30.
Watching highlights of Brady slamming a water bottle to the ground in frustration on the New England sideline after throwing one interception to the Giants and then visibly pitching a fit after a second pick, has to have Ryan and the Jets salivating at the chance to compound his problems Sunday night.
The shine seems to have dulled on the once unbeatable Patriots. The foundation appears cracked.
And the Jets , who have spent most of the last decade ??? but most particularly the last two years under Ryan ??? looking up at the Patriots in the AFC East standings, smell blood.
???It???s frustrating being in their division and constantly chasing them,?????? safety Jim Leonhard told The Post yesterday. ???That???s the beauty of right now ??? they???ve slipped up a couple times and now we have a chance to have them chase us.??????
Since the moment the Jets lost their second consecutive AFC Championship Game on the road last January, Ryan has championed his formula for getting to the Super Bowl as winning the division and earning at least one home playoff game.
That means the Jets overtaking their nemesis.
???The easiest way to get to the Super Bowl is by taking care of your division and we???re right at that cusp, we???re right there with that opportunity,?????? Leonhard said.
???This has to be our time,?????? linebacker Aaron Maybin told The Post. ???If we???re really going to be the kind of team that we say that we are then this has to be our time. There???s no bigger stage and no better team to beat than New England.
???At some point, you have to go out there and have a game that really defines who you are as a team and that game has to come against a team like the Patriots ??? a dominant team that???s had success and has a tradition of winning and going to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You want to be the best? You have to beat the best. This game could be that game for us.??????
The Jets insist they???re a better team than they were on Oct. 9 when they lost 30-21 to the Patriots in New England and that, along with the first-place stakes, is what ramps up the anticipation for this rematch.
???There is a little extra electricity to Jets -Patriots,?????? linebacker Jamaal Westerman said. ???I don???t want to say there???s a hate between the two teams, but a dislike ??? a strong, strong, strong dislike. They???ve had the playoffs and the Super Bowls and right now we want to be that [team].
???We know that to do what we want to do ??? not only in the division but in February (the Super Bowl) ??? we???ve got to handle them. Rex always talks about how they???re the big dogs in the division for the last number of years, so it goes through them.??????
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