Their records may be the same, but these teams should not be considered equals.
The New England Patriots (3-2) square off against the New York Jets (3-2) at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m. on CBS for sole possession of the top spot in the AFC East, as the Buffalo Bills (3-2) are on a bye week.
The Patriots should not have too much trouble with the familiar foe, especially since reliable offensive contributors in wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (IR) and running back Bilal Powell (calf) will not be playing.
With that being said, New England will have a depleted secondary, as cornerbacks Eric Rowe and Stephon Gilmore are ruled out.
Jets’ running back Matt Forte has been hobbled with injuries the past few weeks, so it is unclear how much they will use him out of the backfield.
This leaves New York quarterback Josh McCown to look towards wide receiver Robby Anderson and tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins to be go-to targets in moving the chains.
Even with the loss in the secondary, the Patriots should come in to today’s matchup feeling a bit more rested and prepared since they had the extra three days because of playing on Thursday night last week.
It will be important to keep quarterback Tom Brady upright in the pocket, as he has been dealing with an AC joint sprain.
Division games are always going to be challenging because of the familiarity with an opponent, and the New York faithful will certainly bring enthusiasm into the contest early on.
The Patriots will more than likely look to control the clock and be methodical in their drives to take the air out of the baloon in the stadium.
They should look to be balanced on offense, giving Mike Gillislee and company a chance to get into a groove.
Will New England have its set of challenges in the game?
Sure, but it should not impede the overall result of the scoreboard.
Jets injury report: Inactives: QB Christian Hackenberg, RB Bilal Powell, CB Derrick Jones, LB Freddie Bishop, LB Obum Gwacham, C Jonotthan Harrison, TE Jordan Leggett
Patriots injury report: Inactives: CB Eric Rowe, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Harvey Langi, OL Cole Croston, CB Stephon Gilmore, OL Cam Fleming, LB David Harris