The Patriots get a familiar face coming to Gillette Stadium on Sunday for the divisional round of the playoffs: the Jets. These two division rivals last faced off in a playoff game following the 2006 season in the wild-card round. Both teams are very different, but, unfortunately for Rex Ryan, Tom Brady still remains.
It will be Jets-Pats, Belichick-Ryan, Brady-Sanchez Part III. The Jets took the first matchup, a 28-14 win in Week Two highlighted by the beginning of the end of Randy Moss' tenure in Foxborough. A retooled, reenergized Patriots team walloped the Jets on national TV in their second meeting 45-3.
The Patriots have to be pleased with this matchup. They know the Jets better than most teams in the league, and Tom Brady has had plenty of opportunities to figure out Rex Ryan's defense. The Pats' defense is at its best when it can confuse opposing quarterbacks, and Mark Sanchez is susceptible to throwing a few to the other team.
You can be sure that Ryan will have the Jets' defense more prepared for the Patriots' offense this Sunday than they were in Week 13, but you also can expect the Patriots to be more than ready to go following a bye week. There are few things sweeter than beating your rival, and the Pats have an opportunity to eliminate their loudmouth rivals from the playoffs. It should be a very intriguing game on Sunday afternoon.