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Why the Pats are a lock on Sunday

The Patriots are nine-point favorites in Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Jets. They’re giving so many points for a very good reason: Right now, they’re the better team.

The Patriots are nine-point favorites in Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Jets.

They’re giving so many points for a very good reason: Right now, they’re the better team. Remember, New England beat New York 45-3 on Dec. 6.

Here are three reasons they’ll do it all over again.

1. The defense

The Pats’ pass ‘D’ isn’t nearly as bad as the stats suggest.

It comes down to this: Since New England is usually up big, the opposition is forced to throw more. More passing attempts usually means more yardage, so the numbers are a mirage.

That fact and a weak QB will force the Jets to run plenty Sunday. The Pats are ready for that.

“Early on in the year, our run phase was kind of crazy,” Vince Wilfork said. “Just seeing guys not understand the defense the way it needed to be played. So, as time went on, we got better and better and better.”

2. Pats ‘O’ > Jets ‘D’

The Jets’ defense — ranked sixth against the pass and third against the rush — is what got them to the playoffs.

Unfortunately, that same unit gave up 45 points to New England last month.

The Pats will trot out their high-powered offense again Sunday. While this game should be closer, the Pats will respond to this week’s Jets trash talking in the form of points.

Antonio Cromartie better get used to Tom Brady’s finger, because he could be pointing it at New York’s sideline often.

3. Maybe next year

Let’s pass the old Red Sox mantra on to Jets fans: “Maybe next year.”

It’s not that the Jets are a bad team, because they aren’t. They deserve to be in the position they’re in.

But over the last few years, it seems to be the same story for the Jets — play good football, get fans’ hopes up ... and then rip out their hearts.

Hopefully this season, those fans already see the writing on the wall. It’s over. The Patriots are playing some of the best football New England has ever seen, and that won’t stop Sunday.

 
 
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