COMMENTARY | Six games into the 2013 NFL season, the New York Jets already face their season-defining game.
Sunday's game against the bruised and battered New England Patriots represents more than a W. It is the crossroad of their 2013 NFL campaign.
Nevermind that New England comes into the New Meadowlands without two key defensive stars (linebacker Jerod Mayo and nose tackle Vince Wilfork), both of whom played important roles in the Patriots' Week 3 win against these same Jets. Nevermind that All-Everything Quarterback Tom Brady is throwing to a collection of has-beens and never-weres.
A win against these New England Patriots is still a win over a bitter rival, one that currently sits on top of the AFC East mountain and has shown a propensity to win when everything is stacked against them. Just ask Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints if these banged-up Patriots are legitimate.
For the Jets, a win will vault them back into the AFC East chase. A win would ease the sting of their loss to these Patriots in Week 3, a game they know they should have won, but didn't. A win would lift this team heading into two tough matchups before their bye week (against Cincinnati and New Orleans).
A win would energize a fan base that has been shown glimpses of promise.
But a loss? A loss would kill most, if not all hopes of vying for the division, plus plunge the Jets further behind also-rans jockeying for wildcard position.
More importantly, a loss would devastate the psyche of this team. Two losses against their arch-rivals in two games this team was primed to win. Week 2 should have been the Jets' moment, but they let it slip through their hands (literally and figuratively). Week 7 - a home game against an ailing foe - should be the same.
A loss would have everyone saying these Jets can't win against a quality opponent, and they'd be right. You can't be taken seriously when your wins are against teams that are a combined 3-13.
These Jets need a defining moment. Sunday will define this New York Jets team. The only question is whether the 2013 Jets are a contender or a pretender.
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