Monday, January 3, 2011
Jets' path to Super Bowl goes through NE
The ultimate sports credo is to "take one game at a time."
The New York Jets don't necessarily do that. They've been known to look ahead. Before last year's first playoff game, head coach Rex Ryan handed out a postseason itinerary that included a ticker-tape parade through the Canyon of Heroes on Feb. 9.
Ryan's itinerary this year must include a trip to Gillette Stadium on Jan. 16. The New England Patriots are the No. 1 seed and will host the team with the lowest-remaining seed.
The Jets are sixth out of six. So if they beat the Indianapolis Colts, then Foxborough is their mandatory destination.
Can the Jets possibly make up 43 points if they can play the Patriots a third time?
While the Jets defeated the Patriots 28-14 at the Meadowlands in Week 2, the Patriots evolved into a juggernaut over the next three months and walloped the Jets 45-3 at Gillette Stadium in Week 13.
Six weeks will have passed between games if the Jets can reach New England in the second round, but the memories of that Monday night beatdown won't be completely gone.
Psychology certainly will be a factor. It always is.
Although the interval between games is greater, the situation is a little reminiscent of how the Jets set a tone by annihilating the Cincinnati Bengals 37-0 at the Meadowlands in the regular-season finale. They were paired for the playoffs a few days later in Cincinnati. The Jets clearly had the mental edge and won 24-14.
What do you think will happen if the Jets and Patriots meet again?