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Scouting report: Patriots vs. Jets

Just when you thought the Boston-New York rivalry was cooling off, a showdown of sorts will be taking place in Foxborough this week when the Patriots host the New York Jets in a pivotal AFC East matchup. Both teams are 5-0, and CBS will be sending it's No. 1 announcing team. They are two of just three teams that are still undefeated -- the other being the Philadelphia Eagles, also 5-0.

It is the first time that two 5-0 teams from the same division have met since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. It is also the first time that a pair of undefeated teams will meet this late in the season since 1973, when the Minnesota Vikings squared off with the Los Angeles Rams when both teams were sporting 6-0 records.

UPCOMING GAME
Next game: Sunday, October 24, at Gillette Stadium, 4 p.m. TV/Radio: Ch. 4, WBCN-FM (104.1) Line: The Patriots are favored by 6.5 points. Over/Under: 43.5 points

ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, and Bonnie Bernstein (Field reporter) handle the announcing duties for CBS.

LAST MEETING: Patriots 21, Jets 16, at the Meadowlands.
New England's defense recorded four sacks and forced five turnovers while Tom Brady passed for a pair of touchdowns on Dec. 20, 2003. Of course, there are those of us who remember the game more for an inebriated Joe Namath telling ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber that he wanted to kiss her.

SERIES: New York leads, 47-39-1.

STREAKS: The Patriots have won the last two meetings.

INJURY SITUATION

PATRIOTS - Wide receiver Deion Branch (knee) is doubtful. Tackle Tom Ashworth (back), Running back Patrick Pass (thigh), cornerback Tyrone Poole (knee) and wide receiver Troy Brown (knee) are questionable. Runnin back Rabih ABdullah (forearm) and quarterbacks Tom Brady (right shoulder), and Jim Miller (right shoulder)are probable. Defensive end Rodney Bailey (Achilles), tackle Adrian Klemm, tight ends Zeron Flemister (Achilles) and Ben Watson (knee), safety Guss Scott (knee), wide receiver P.K. Sam (groin) and defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield (toe) are on injured reserve.

JETS - Cornerback Derrick Strait (foot) and safety Rashad Washington (foot) are out. Linebacker Sam Cowart is questionable. B.J. Askew (shoulder), guard Pete Kendall, guard Brandon Moore, and wide receiver Santana Moss (hamstring) are probable. Defensive tackle Josh Evans (back), cornerback Ray Mickens (knee), and running back Josh Davis are on injured reserve.

POSITION BREAKDOWNS

WHEN THE PATRIOTS RUN: Edge New York
Corey Dillon continues to impress, and seemed to be the difference as the Patriots were able to hold off a rally by the Seattle Seahawks in last week's 30-20 win. Dillon averaged 4.6 yards a carry en route to finishing with 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The second score came just inside the two minute warning, with the Patriots clinging to a 23-20 lead and trying to run out the clock, when Dillon was able to score from nine yards out to salt the game away. The Jets defense is tough against the run, with defensive tackles John Ferguson (6-foot-3, 305), and Dewayne Robertson (6-1, 317) serving as major road blocks to opposing offenses. Linebacker Sam Cowart has always been a run-stopper when healthy, often finishing among the league-leaders in total tackles. Cowart is listed as questionable though.   Continued...

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