ESPN.coms Bill Simmons gives his opinion on the Pats/Jets matchup this sunday along with the other playoff games. He also ends up giving his opinion on various other topic in typical Simmons fashion such as the Rose Bowl Parade, the Dec. 27th Celtics/Clippers game, Barry Zito signing a 127 million dollar contract, Nick Saban being a scumbag, and so on, and so on. Here’s the section on the Pats/Jets.
PATRIOTS (-8.5) over Jets
It’s been fun to see the Jets fans come out of a decade-long hibernation/depression to unleash taunting “you’re going down!” e-mails and phone calls to Patriots fans like myself. You guys are cute. It’s like having a puppy hump your leg or something. Anyway, here’s the lingering question: How does a team with no home-field advantage, no deep threats, a banged-up secondary and one of the worst special teams units in football give 8.5 points to a team that played them tough twice? It makes no sense, right?
Here’s the answer: The Pats tipped their hands in a meaningless Tennessee game last week. There’s been a nagging sense since the curious Colts defeat that they were better than they were letting on, that they were playing possum to an extent, blessed with an easy schedule that guaranteed them the 4-seed four months ago. When the Titans got them riled up with a couple of chippy plays, the ticked-off Pats switched gears, kept their starters in, opened up both barrels and blew them off the field. It was an awesome performance. For the first time all season, they looked like the physical, nasty, ball-breaking, smashmouth team that won 21 straight and 31 of 33 during the ’03 and ’04 seasons. I can’t imagine that team losing at home, in January, in a do-or-die game, to an opponent that can’t run the ball or stop the run. It’s not happening.
The Pick: New England 31, New York 10
I have to say I didn’t see the Pats/Titans game quite the same way. I just don’t think the Titans were anywhere near as good as they were being hyped up to be and the Pats exposed that by being the very good team that they are. Everyone just got caught up in the Vince Young heroics and started to forget that they’re a horrible team……in my opinion.
But I do think he’s right about the Pats simply taking it up a few notches on the “Tough/physical/nasty” scale this Sunday and totally outclassing the Jets.
Let’s hope so anyway.