Elster's World

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Super Bowl Thursday

Really, there is no other way to describe it. Tomorrow night's tilt against the Patriots in the dreaded land of Foxboro, is the Jets regular season Super Bowl. Sure, beating the undefeated Titans will be a nice feather in the cap. Sure finishing the season 2-0 against the Bills and hated Dolphins will be awesome. But beating the Patriots on Thursday is actually a so-called "must win" for the jets for several reasons:

- It will plant them solely in first place in the East - a pretty swell place to be with 10 down as 6 to go. The Jets will then be in the driver's seat to get first place in the East and secure a possible bye and home playoff game (yes I know I'm getting way ahead of myself but hey the jets are 6-3 for pete's sakes). It will put destiny pretty much in their own hands in terms of winning their games will take care of their playoff positioning.

- It will make next week's probably loss to the Titans less painful. If the Jets lose next week and sit at 7-4, big whoop. But suddenly adrift at 6-5? Not so good. The Titans first loss is going to come against a bad team that "shocks" the Titans, not a possible playoff matchup. So if the Jets lose this week, they are staring at a 2 game losing streak in my book. (Hopefully Joe will be showing me these last two sentences when the Jets are jumping around the field 2 Sundays from now and point out what an idiot I am.)

- It's a tremendous statement game. It says - "we can walk into Foxboro, stare down the team that pretty much owns us, and win that game with no fear." A loss has just the opposite effect - it shows the Jets aren't ready for the big time - will struggle to earn a wild card spot, and will get crushed on the road in the first round by Pittsburgh or Indy.

- The Pats are ripe for a loss. No Brady. No Adalius Thomas. No running game to speak of. The Jets don't really have any significant injuries and are firing on all cylinders. If the Jets can't win it with this kind of mismatch, what kind of chance will they have next season when the pats have re-tooled?

- If the Jets can run with Thomas Jones, Favre can exploit their bad secondary. The Jets are running now as well as they have in a long time. The Pats have a great front 7 (though diminished by injuriy to Thomas), but if the Jets line can create room for Jones, that will open things up for the passing game.

So there it is - a Super Bowl type setting in the regular season.

I will not be making a prediction on the game.