Pats-Jets II: Final thoughts

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The much-anticipated rematch between the New England Patriots (5-3) and New York Jets (5-3) is almost here. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.

Here are some final thoughts leading into this grudge match:

  • The most important thing to keep an eye on is New England's injuries. The official inactives will be released closer to game time. But the Patriots have 11 players questionable. Key players like safety Patrick Chung, cornerback Kyle Arrington, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, linebacker Jerod Mayo and offensive tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer all can make an impact. But some combination of these players won't be healthy enough to play against the Jets.

  • I'm interested to see how the Jets balance their offensive game plan. The secondary is clearly New England's biggest weakness. But New York has turned back to ground-and-pound football, which limits throws for quarterback Mark Sanchez. Statistically, it makes sense for New York to come out and throw the ball 40 times against New England's struggling defensive backs. But that is not the formula that's won three straight games for New York. The Jets have to find the right balance that works for them.

  • I've been drawing some heat in the AFC East blog and AFC East Twitter for my recent column on why the Patriots will win the division. That's understandable. But I noticed some readers are saying I picked the Patriots to win this game. That part is incorrect. I haven't predicted a single game all season in the AFC East blog. But the column outlines why New England will win the division regardless of Sunday's outcome. I just wanted to clear that up.

  • Finally, updating the rest of the AFC East, the Bills are losing to the Cowboys at halftime, 28-7. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is 18-for-19 passing for 237 yards and three touchdowns against Buffalo in the first half. The Miami Dolphins are beating the Washington Redskins, 10-6. We will have postgame thoughts on those two games, as well as wall-to-wall coverage tonight on the Jets and Patriots. Remember to check back with the AFC East blog throughout the day.