After a week filled with more story lines than an episode of 24, the New England Patriots and New York Jets are ready to put aside the distractions and have at it on the gridiron. Although it's only week two, more than a win is on the line for two teams that aren't shy about their mutual hatred.
The week one spotlight was fixed squarely on the Jets following an offseason filled with splashy player acquisitions, contract disputes, and a controversial reality show. But a 10-9 Monday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens brought the hype train to a screeching halt. The Jets offense was historically inept, lowlighted by the disastrous performances of sophomores Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene.
The Patriots didn't exactly keep to the shadows either during the last few months. The face of the franchise, QB Tom Brady (pictured right), didn't mince words when discussing his opinion of the New York Jets and the HBO show that featured them during training camp, telling Boston radio station WEEI: "I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show." Jets coach Rex Ryan responded in kind stating, "Hell, he knows we hate the Patriots, so what's the difference?"
But that wasn't the end of Brady headlines. On his way to practice last Thursday, Brady got into a car crash that sent a man to the hospital and left Brady visibly shaken. The collision came just one week after the three-time Super Bowl champion was rewarded with a new deal that makes him the highest paid player in the NFL. Brady's new contract prompted teammate Randy Moss to bemoan his uncertain contract status, selfishly detracting attention from an impressive week one victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Speaking of contract disputes, Jets cornerback Darelle Revis engaged in perhaps the most high profile conflict this year, finally signing with New York mere days before the season opened. Contract in hand, Revis returned his focus to a personal grudge match with Moss, the two superstars posturing for reporters this week after Revis largely neutralized Moss in two games last year.
With today's 24-hour media cycle, the Jets and Patriots definitely created no shortage of headlines leading up to tomorrow's 4:15 PM ET showdown in the Meadowlands. Neither wants to lose but the Jets are in particularly dire straits. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, an 0-2 start to the season would be send the New York media into a frenzy.
Darelle Revis (#24) limited Randy Moss to just nine catches for 58 yds and one TD in two meetings last year