Patriots Must Prove They Can Beat Rex Ryan’s Jets Before Worrying About Playoffs

Patriots Must Prove They Can Beat Rex Ryan's Jets Before Worrying About Playoffs FOXBORO, Mass. — As important as Monday night’s Patriots-Jets matchup is for the division standings and AFC playoff picture, it’s also got plenty on the line for the Pats’ confidence.

Since Rex Ryan launched a new Jets regime in 2009, New York is 2-1 against the Patriots, and the Jets have fared very well in their own stadium. The Jets have held the Patriots scoreless in the second half in each of their two home wins. The Jets finished their 2009 victory on a 13-0 run, and they closed out their 2010 win on a 21-0 run, showcasing a balanced offense and suffocating defense on each occasion.

Now, the Patriots were every bit as impressive in last season’s 31-14 victory at Gillette Stadium. They neutralized quarterback Mark Sanchez and the offense, and no team has scored more points on the Jets during Ryan’s two-year tenure.

The Pats need to even up the score again, show they’re an improved team later in the season and that they can properly adjust to the Jets’ scheme. Plus, with how tightly contested these games are between the Patriots and Jets, the difference between winning and losing might just the home stadium. And, if the Patriots fall to the Jets on Monday, they’d almost certainly have to go through the New Meadowlands for any type of extended playoff run.

Certainly, the Patriots are a mentally strong team, and they’ve shown that with high-profile victories against the Dolphins, Ravens, Chargers, Vikings, Steelers and Colts. Sooner or later, the Patriots are going to need to add the Jets to that list, and if the Pats can do that this week, it will add to their confidence that they’ll also be able to do it in the playoffs, too.

This was the fifth installment of a 10-day series that will highlight 10 reasons to get excited for the Patriots-Jets matchup next Monday night.

Tuesday: Will Wes Welker take his talents to Revis Island?

Thursday: Can Tom Brady continue his three-game hot streak?

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